The Oakland Raiders initially refused to install league-mandated gold markers on the 50-yard line, but say it was only because of the baseball field at O.co Coliseum.
The Raiders had told facilities executives not to paint the gold markers on the 50-yard lines to commemorate Super Bowl 50, reports Don Muret of Sports Business Daily. In March, the NFL announced that all 31 NFL stadiums would be painting their 50-yard markers gold for its “On the 50” celebration of the game which will be held at the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium.
The Raiders were the the only team that had not complied, but owner Mark Davis told the Associated Press Wednesday that they were simply waiting because of the baseball field at the Coliseum, which the team shares with MLB’s Oakland Athletics, whose final home game is scheduled for Sept. 27. The Raiders play at home next Oct. 11 against Denver.
Earlier Wednesday, Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communications, also said the Raiders had not painted the midfield markers gold for the first two home games of the season because the Athletics were still playing baseball at the shared stadium. However, Chris Wright, AEG Facilities VP and the Coliseum's GM had refuted the claim that the markers would be changed at the conclusion of the A’s season.
“It has nothing to do with baseball,” Wright said. “The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders' regular season.”
The Raiders travel to Cleveland to play the Browns in Week 3, and are 1–1 to start the season.
- Erin Flynn
Galleries From The SI.com Archives
Mouse over each photo for a pop-up view. Click to go to the SI.com gallery.