Since the lawsuit was filed against the Raiders by the City of Oakland, many ideas have been thrown out on where Oakland could call home for one more lame-duck season before they move into their new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.
Oakland is still a possibility. Levi’s stadium has been a popular potential destination and Mark Davis could be forced to play there. AT&T park has been brought up but can the stadium accommodate an NFL team for an entire season without major changes? Hard to say. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the Chargers once played is also considered a candidate.
The latest contender for where the Raiders call home in 2019 has emerged — London. As in England.
Oakland seems like the best option as the fans in the Bay Area deserve to see as many Raider football games as possible, but London might actually be the best decision for the organization from a business perspective even if every other venue mentioned above was available to the organization.
If the team decides to play the 2019 season in London, the franchise would have huge revenue opportunities not possible anywhere else.
The Raiders would be the first NFL team to call London home for more than just one game in a season and the excitement that would generate would be through the roof. While there are few guarantees, if attendance at NFL games in London are any indication, the Raiders would sell out their games in the Tottenham Hotspur new 62,000-seat stadium.
There is also the revenue the Raiders would bring in via a plethora of merchandise sales in Europe and there could be an opportunity for a new television contract. If a new contract did happen, the Raiders and the NFL could be compensated handsomely. And that would be in addition to the revenue from games being broadcasted in the United States already.
Moreover, playing in London is an opportunity for the organization to find a home in a state-of-the-art stadium for 2019. Santa Clara is the only other location that can provide an exceptional venue for football, but once again Davis gives the impression he would only go there as a last resort. And a move to Santa Clara doesn’t expand the fan base into a new market.
By the time they make their home in Las Vegas in 2020, the Raiders could conceivably dominate the European market until another team calls London home permanently and an eventual long-term London resident is far from a certainty.
If the Raider brand sticks abroad, there isn’t a better place for some London fans to frequent than the notable and flashy Las Vegas to see their new favorite team.
If the organization decides to be the first London guinea pig (something NFL owners have brought up), there is a huge potential to truly be the world’s team. The Raiders could have solid fan bases in the Bay Area, Southern California, the UK, and Las Vegas.
It would provide an opportunity, along with the new stadium in Vegas, for the Raiders to finally become a cash-rich franchise and bring in revenue from all across the globe.
There just aren’t very many brands in all of professional sports that would be able to have so many hubs of fans in so many different locations.