Are the Oakland Raiders bound for Texas?
Team owner Mark Davis and a pair of executives recently met with officials from San Antonio to discuss moving the franchise there, according to the San Antonio Express News.
“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff,” said San Antonio city manager Sheryl Sculley. “Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio, and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence.”
Should this come as a shock? Probably not, since the Raiders are angling for a new stadium in Oakland and it’s seemingly common practice these days for teams to openly flirt with different cities as a way to get what they want.
In any case, David and his cohorts reportedly enjoyed a “tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.” And while most people will roll their eyes over this alleged visit, sources have said that Davis’ interest in San Antonio is somewhat substantial. The Raiders’ lease in Oakland expires after the 2014-15 season.
“So we spent the weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to show him San Antonio in the event if it ever became necessary to consider a site other than Oakland,” san former mayor Henry Cisneros, who led the charge to build the Alamodome during his tenure in the 1980s. If necessary upgrades are made (including adding more luxury suits), the stadium could be ready to host an NFL team as early as the 2015 season.
But apparently that wouldn’t be the Raiders’ permanent home. According to the Express, David would likely seek a new stadium within a few years. He informed city leaders that he wouldn’t look to add a behemoth like the one Jerry Jones built for the Cowboys, but rather a “small, intimate” facility that he can place “a statue of his father in front of,” according to a source.
But hold everything. Even if the Raiders make a deal with San Antonio, there still would be several hurdles to climb. Davis would need the approval of at least 24 of the team’s 32 owners and would need to justify why it would be beneficial to the league to move from the No. 6 media market to the 36th.
The NFL doesn’t have much to say about the topic at the moment.