Raiders Could Play in San Antonio or With 49ers If Oakland Fans Stop Showing Up To Games
Raider Nation: Our team is leaving. Thanks for nothing. There’s no possible way this could get any worse.
Mark Davis: Hold my beer.
Raiders fans’ worst nightmare came true when the Raiders were approved to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, but the news could get that much worse if fan support in the city dies off.
After the approval, Raiders owner Mark Davis said he would like to keep the Raiders in Oakland while the team’s new stadium in Vegas is being built.
“We have two more years of lease options for Oakland right now,” Davis said. “If the fans would like us to stay there, we’d love to be there for that and possibly talk to them about extending it for maybe 2019 as well and try to bring a championship back to Oakland.”
Davis is confident that Raiders fans will continue to support the team at home games, but if they don’t, the Raiders can back out of a lease at Oakland Coliseum that runs through 2018. The lease has two single-year options and the team can bolt after the 2017 season. It’s happened before.
The Houston Oilers were approved for relocation to Nashville in May 1996, and the original plan was for them to play the 1996 and 1997 seasons in Houston before making the move. One problem: The fans stopped coming to games and the team had to move after the 1996 season.
There’s also two other options where the Raiders could play before they head to Vegas:
“According to the Los Angeles Daily News, San Antonio would be a “possible temporary venue” if the Raiders are forced to leave Oakland. Davis visited San Antonio several times over the past two years while he was looking at possible places to move his team.
Another possibility for the Raiders would be moving in with the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium for a season or two. Ian Rapoport said Monday on NFL Network that the 49ers would definitely be open to sharing the stadium with the Raiders for the 2019 season, and possibly even 2018.
During a podcast with CSN Bay Area this week, 49ers CEO Jed York didn’t discount the idea.
“I think [Mark Davis] said pretty clearly that he’d like to stay in Oakland and he’d certainly like to stay in the East Bay, and we’d want to be helpful with him in that,” York said. “If [sharing Levi’s] was an opportunity, we’d certainly sit down and discuss it, but I think there are a lot of moving pieces right now that it’s really conjecture to talk about 2019 at this point, when they’d still, obviously, prefer to be at the Coliseum.”
An ESPN.com story Tuesday also speculated that the Raiders could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or at AT&T Park, home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants. That second option might sound a little weird, but the Giants’ baseball stadium did host Cal’s football team for the 2011 season while Memorial Stadium was being renovated.”
Basically, support the team that’s eventually bolting on you in two or three years, or lose them in a year.