CONCORD -- The Concord Raiders?
Apparently, it's not an entirely ludicrous notion to Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis or to the mayor of Concord, especially if the city can acquire a chunk of land at the Concord Naval Weapons Station where a sparkling, new silver and black stadium might rise.
Concord Mayor Dan Helix confirmed that Davis toured the land at the shuttered base on Friday along with Don Perata, a former state Senate leader who's now advising the Raiders. The two "called about a week ago and said they would like a tour," Helix said Sunday about the base, which is approximately 20 miles from Oakland. "So we set it up for Friday." They were given about a 1½-hour tour of the facility."
The tour, Helix said, was given by Michael Wright, the Concord reuse project director.
"There was absolutely no commitment" by either side to a future deal involving the team and the land, "nor did we expect there to be," Helix said. "But (Davis) did say he liked the property very much."
Helix said the group looked at most of the base, which consists of 5,000 acres. The land is still owned by the U.S. Navy but has been decommissioned and is being cleaned up, Helix said. It's too soon to tell what may be developed on the land, but Helix said four or five "major players" have toured the site.
"Naturally, we're excited about their interest," said Helix about the Oakland Raiders organization. "It would take a great deal of time, but if you were able to get the Raiders there, it would be a great avenue for development of restaurants and other businesses."
Davis was particularly happy about the Naval Weapons Station's proximity to the North Concord BART station.
"He told us 30 percent of the team's fans take BART to games," Helix said.
The soonest the city of Concord would acquire the property would be 2015, Helix said, adding that any estimates for building a future football stadium to house the team would be four to 10 years.
"And that's conservative," Helix said.
The Raiders have been playing at the Oakland Coliseum since 1995, after moving back to the city from Los Angeles. The Raiders left Oakland for Los Angeles in 1982 after playing in Oakland from 1960 to 1981.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.