The Oakland Raiders aren’t headed to Los Angeles in 2016, and the future of the team remains very much up in the air after Tuesday’s owners meeting in Houston. The NFL approved the relocation of the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers to L.A., leaving the Raiders without a home for next season.
The Raiders withdrew their request to move to Los Angeles when it became clear that the NFL would select the Rams and Chargers to make the move. The league approved Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s request to relocate to L.A. and build a stadium in Inglewood, and the Chargers have been given the option of joining them. The Raiders’ lease at O.co Coliseum is up, and owner Mark Davis needs to find a place for his team to play.
"This is not a win for the Raiders today, but at the same time I'm really happy for Stan Kroenke and the Rams," Davis said. "We'll see where the Raider Nation ends up here ... don't feel bad, we'll get it right."
So where will the Raiders end up in 2016 and beyond? There are a lot of questions surrounding the team’s future, but very few answers.
The most likely scenario might be the team signing a short-term lease to return to the Coliseum, but the Raiders need a permanent home. The NFL has offered the organization $100 million if they decide to build a new stadium, but that would only cover a fraction of the cost. In order to build a new venue in Oakland, Davis might have to consider selling a portion of the franchise.
It’s not impossible that the Raiders could still end up in L.A. The Chargers have been given the option to make Kroenke’s new stadium their home, and they have one year to decide whether or not they want to stay in San Diego or relocate to Los Angeles. The Chargers are expected to make the move, but if they don’t, the NFL would give the Raiders a year to decide whether or not they want to play in Inglewood.
Playing in Levi’s Stadium is certainly an option for the Raiders. They wouldn’t have to travel far, and it’s a state of the art stadium that opened less than two years ago. But the Raiders don’t want to make their permanent residence in another team’s venue, giving another reason why L.A. might not be a likely option, even if the Chargers decide not to relocate.
The idea of the Raiders moving to San Antonio became news in the summer of 2014 when Davis met with officials from the city about possibly moving to Texas. According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, the Raiders own land in the Austin-San Antonio area that could be used to build a stadium. If the Raiders were to relocate to San Antonio, they could play in the Alamodome until a permanent stadium is built. However, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair could look to prevent such a move from happening.
After having the Rams for 21 seasons, St. Louis is without an NFL team. The city is disappointed to see the Rams go and might welcome in another team with open arms, but Davis has given no indication that the Raiders are thinking about heading to the Midwest.