It’s been a...let’s just say, newsworthy past few days for the Raiders. A day after the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the Raiders, the NFL, and the other 31 teams, owner Mark Davis was in Tempe Arizona at the league’s owner’s meetings.
What everyone would like to know is whether the suit the City filed will mean he takes the Raiders games out of Oakland for the 2019 season; a year early from their previously scheduled departure for their currently being constructed stadium in Las Vegas.
The follow-up to that is if they do leave, where they would go. We don’t have that answer yet, but we may have gotten some answers as to where they will NOT be next season, which narrows the most likely destinations considerably.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said he'd like to stay put next season, but the team has all sorts of options re where to play. Didn't rule out San Diego. Didn't rule out anything, really, except San Antonio.— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) December 12, 2018
Specifically, Davis said he doesn’t like the turf at the Alamodome. Jerry Jones likely doesn’t want the Raiders in his market even for a season, which would be reason for Davis to rule it out. It was always one of the longer shots anyway.
“Emotionally, I don’t want to pay for my own lawsuit,” said Davis, “but for the fans it’s something I’ve got to think about.”
Davis saying he would like to stay in Oakland sounds familiar. He said that for a long time and all the while was making plans to leave; first for Los Angeles and then to Las Vegas. But the mere fact that he even said he would like to stay in Oakland for next season instead of saying unequivocally he is leaving, despite recent reports to the contrary. And team President Marc Badain saying the team’s supposed offer on a one-year coliseum lease is off the table.
“We do not have any answer on where we’re going to play next year,” #Raiders president Marc Badain told reporters at owners meeting. “We made an offer of $7.5 million in rent to the city, and that’s now off the table. We have a number of options.”— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 12, 2018
That offer can always be placed back on the table. If it ever truly existed. So, for now Oakland is still in play. It certainly would be the easiest location should Mark and Marc be willing to bite the bullet and ride it out.
There’s also the need for this to be resolved quickly which limits the options.
Roger Goodell says the league needs to know where the Raiders will play next year by "early January, February" to make the 2019 schedule.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 12, 2018
This would seem to eliminate another long shot in Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. They have been saying for a while that the stadium is not equipped to handle an NFL game and that wouldn’t be fixed in a month’s time.
That would figure to bring us to two favorite locations outside of Oakland — San Diego and Santa Clara.
San Diego has a vacant NFL-ready stadium in Raiders fan friendly Southern California. And the 49ers at one time had offered to share a stadium with the Raiders. Not to mention, we know Roger Goodell likes the idea of two NFL teams sharing a facility.
Regardless of where they play their games — whether it be Oakland or otherwise — the team will still practice in Alameda and hold training camp in Napa.
Raiders owner Mark Davis on possibly leaving Napa (site of training camp): "If we leave there, then Jerry (Jones) will take it. He'll end up liking Napa." Davis said Raiders will have training camp in Napa next year.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) December 12, 2018
Honestly, it has long made sense that they keep their training camp in Napa even after the move to Vegas. But that remains uncertain.