by Tom LaMarre
The NFL wants to know soon where the Oakland Raiders will play home games next season, but owner Mark Davis doesn’t seem to be close to working that out, although he says he wants to keep the team in the Bay Area.
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020 and were set to play one more season in the Oakland Coliseum, but Davis pulled a potential agreement for that off the table when the City of Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL.
There have been reports that the Raiders might play at Oracle Park in San Francisco, share Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara with the San Francisco 49ers or play in London, San Antonio, San Diego and other cities.
Nothing has worked out yet and the deal in Oakland remains a possibility.
“I’m not frustrated,” Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’ve said from the beginning, my biggest concern is our fans, and it’s my hope and preference to remain in the Bay Area (in 2019) for them.
“The fans have always been first in my heart. We do have other options, but the hope is to remain in the Bay Area next season until we move to Las Vegas in 2020, which I remain very excited about.”
That would seem to mean Oakland or Santa Clara.
Davis also pointed out that reports of negotiations with London and the San Francisco Giants about Oracle Park were never confirmed by him or anyone with the Raiders.
The 49ers apparently have refused to waive their territorial rights to allow the Raiders to play at Oracle and San Francisco Mayor London Breed came out against the move because of increased traffic congestion in the area because the Golden State Warriors are going to start playing nearby in the new Chase Center in September.
“The thing is, we haven’t been the ones talking at all,” Davis said. “Others have been talking for us and in some cases against us. I know the (league) would like this decided within a few weeks, and we certainly don’t want to be the ones that would cause a delay in scheduling.”