The dollar signs are a queasy reminder.
And they have nothing to do with unemployed NBA star LeBron James, Tiger Woods' divorce settlement or new Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki's purchase price.
The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority has commissioned a 40-question survey, essentially asking Raider Nation how much it is willing to sell its soul (again) for a new football stadium (but not a shared, renovated one with the A's).
The dastardly term "personal seat license" apparently has been reclassified as a "one-time equity membership fee" in the Coliseum-issued survey. Not all seats would command that "1xEMF" dowry, but for some that do, are you willing to pony up: $12,000, $8,000, $5,000, $2,500 or, well, how about two tickets on Southwest to see the Raiders in Los Angeles?
Cringe. Sigh. Do a spit-take with your Bud Light (a Raiders sponsor).
But understand this: The Raiders need a new stadium, and fans are going to have to ante up for that dream to come true on the once-sacred soil between Hegenberger & 66th Avenue.
The 49ers have a head start on their stadium pursuit thanks to last month's go-ahead from Santa Clara voters. But financing is next on the 49ers' agenda, and seat licenses will play a critical role, especially if it turns out the 49ers need the Raiders to share that stadium.
Give the Coliseum folks and the Raiders credit (seriously) for working in harmony to see if Oakland is a feasible
"We believe that the Coliseum site is a tremendous location for a new football stadium, which can anchor an exciting, multiuse urban redevelopment project and provide economic benefits to the entire region," Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said. "The survey being conducted by the Authority is one component of the Authority's feasibility study which is designed to assess such a project."
Seeking the Raider Nation's collective credit report is one way, perhaps the only way, to start solving that side of the bay's stadium crisis.
Can the Raiders still rally enough support in the wake of the worst seven-year stretch in NFL history, in terms of losing at least 11 games each season and doing so before sparse home crowds?
The polls are open. Untimely or not, the public's appetite must be scouted regarding seating options and price points.
The online survey is expected to take 10 minutes, give or take a few breathless moments when checking the balance of already depleted savings accounts.
A hypothetical seating map is shown, and we here in the Bay Area have become suckers for frothing over such hypothetical blueprints. Three levels of this new stadium are on display: Lower, mezzanine and upper. No snazzy details, not yet.
A new Raiders stadium must be multiuse, but not for baseball. Instead, think World Cup soccer. (Question: Who has a better shot by 2018, the Raiders building a stadium or Landon Donovan leading the United States to a World Cup title?)
If for nothing else, the stadium survey throws out numbers that will make you either laugh, cry or sweat. Yes, the survey gives you options. Such as: Lower-level club seats at an annual price of $2,500, $2,000 or $1,500; upper-level seats annually at $1,200, $900 or $600; four seats in an outdoor loge box at (gulp) $60,000, $40,000 or $20,000 per year.
They want to know fans' breaking point.
A new stadium is a must for the Raiders, who've invited in new karma by changing quarterbacks (Out: JaMarcus Russell; In: Jason Campbell), drafting sensibly (see: linebacker Rolando McClain) and cautiously entering the free-agent market (hello, defensive tackle John Henderson).
The intriguing quote of this offseason came from Raiders patriarch Al Davis in an ESPN documentary about the Los Angeles Raiders, as artfully directed by Ice Cube.
"I could not have stayed in L.A. under the conditions that were there. I had to come back to Oakland," Davis said. "And as L.A. knows, if they can get a stadium, they can knock on the door."
Behind that door, the Raiders are waiting to hear how loud of a knock the Coliseum's survey can offer. Predictably, the results will be mixed.
Raiders fans need to be willing to pay up if their team is to move into a new home, just as other fan bases are or will be doing at Meadowlands Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, the 49ers' prospective stadium and even San Francisco's AT&T Park.