Even though the Raiders are headed back to Oakland after losing out on Los Angeles, their fight is far from over to get a new stadium. That fight could still have the team relocating should the team and the City of Oakland fail to come to an agreement on a new stadium.
Just getting another shot to keep the team is great news for fans in Oakland. But for Mark Davis and the team's stadium interests, the mood is not so lively.
"Well, this is not a win today for the Raiders," Mark Davis said following the announcement at the owners meeting in Houston.
The deal that is in place now gives the Chargers the option to join the Rams and enter the LA market in 2016 or 2017. They will have a year to make that decision. Chargers owner Dean Spanos said he would be taking the next few weeks to make his decision as to whether to take the year and continue his pursuit of a new stadium in San Diego or to cut his losses and join Kroenke now.
If Spanos joins Kroenke this season, the Raiders are officially out of the running for LA. If they somehow get something done, the Raiders can jump in with Kroenke at this time next year.
Being kept out of the LA market is not Mark Davis' only play. Even if they have no options but Oakland in 2016 and even if/when LA is officially no longer an option, he will not simply settle in and accept his fate in his current coliseum confines.
"We'll see where the Raider Nation ends up here," he continued. "We'll be working really hard to find us a home. That's what we're looking for and for our fans and everything else, don't feel bad, we'll get it right."
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf chimed in as well:
"We are pleased to have additional time to work with the Raiders and the NFL to build a new home for the team in Oakland. We recognize that the Raiders have been understandably frustrated over the years, so we are excited to have this chance to rededicate ourselves to getting a deal done in Oakland that works for the team, the NFL, our fans and our taxpayers. We remain confident that the Raiders can build a new stadium in Oakland without a direct public subsidy,. We stand ready to work with the Raiders and the NFL to responsibly make that happen."
The lack of public funding which Schaaf alludes to has been a major stumbling block for the Raiders and was part of the reason there was a $400 million funding gap between what Mark Davis and the NFL were contributing ($500 million) and the projected price tag of the stadium ($900 million). The NFL's additional $100 million kicked in as a consolation prize for losing out on Los Angeles will help, but still leaves a sizable gap to fill.
Another major issue in Oakland is their shared stadium with the baseball A's. They would like a new stadium of their own and have a lease agreement with O.co Coliseum that has a two-year out clause which complicates things.
"The Oakland A's will continue to explore our options with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda on a new venue. This announcement by the NFL regarding the Raiders does not change our immediate plans or our goal of securing a new baseball-only facility," A's owner Lew Wolff said in a statement.
The A's wanted no part of the previously proposed Coliseum City development. The City and the team are hoping to get a stadium built near downtown, which would essentially leave the current site to the Raiders. But until then, the Raiders will continue to be at their mercy.
The Raiders were already in the only remaining two-sport stadium in the NFL, but now with the Chargers getting their choice of a new stadium either in San Diego or Inglewood, the Raiders will have the most embarrassing stadium situation in the league.
Until that is remedied, the Raiders will continue to seek out all of their options in whatever city shows they are wanted. If not Oakland, if not Los Angeles, then perhaps San Diego, San Antonio, or ??
Oakland is back on the clock to make their case to keep them.