After several months of back-and-forth discussions, the Raiders may be sticking it out in Oakland for at least one more season. On Monday, owner Mark Davis told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News on the "TK Show" podcast that the organization is finalizing negotiations to play in the Oakland Coliseum for the 2016 NFL season.
The Raiders’ lease at the building comes to an end Feb. 17, and the team doesn’t have a long-term solution for their future. While Davis is not happy about having to commit to Oakland for a year, he doesn’t have much of a choice.
"In life, you have to do things that make sense, and this absolutely makes sense," Davis told Kawakami.
Where the Raiders will play beyond 2016 remains unclear. The Raiders have been playing in the Coliseum since they moved back to Oakland in 1995 and are looking for a permanent home to replace the 50-year-old building.
According to Davis, a few different sites in northern California would make sense for the team, though they have no interest in playing at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the home of the San Francisco 49ers. On Tuesday, 49ers Chief Executive Officer Jed York told USA Today that it's up to the Raiders to make a decision on sharing the stadium and offered his support for the organization.
The Raiders have explored multiple options outside of the Bay Area, but they have been unable to relocate yet. Davis has said that the organization "can't rule anything out."
A move back to Los Angeles, where the team left more than 20 years ago, was the Raiders’ first choice. But the NFL owners declined their proposal to share a stadium with the Chargers in Carson, California, instead approving an Inglewood stadium plan for the Rams and Chargers. That’s left the Raiders looking at multiple cities, none of which seemed ideal for next season but perhaps are options for 2017.
The latest proposal came from Las Vegas, where Las Vegas Sands CEO and Chairman Sheldon Adelson has proposed to build a $1 billion stadium on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus. Davis met with UNLV President Len Jessup last week and seemed intrigued at the idea of moving the team to Sin City, but he acknowledged that the NFL might not approve of a proposed relocation to Las Vegas.
San Diego could be a future option for the Raiders, but the Chargers will remain in the city for at least one more year. The Chargers won’t join the Rams just yet as they try to secure a new stadium in San Diego, but their future remains uncertain, too.
"For the Raiders, it would be great because we have a very large Hispanic market, and we think that's something that we could tap into down there," Davis told Kawakami, regarding San Diego.
A move to San Antonio for the 2016 season was never seriously considered by Davis. He visited the city in 2014, and investors have tried to bring the Raiders to Texas. Yet, the Alamodome, which was built under the pretense that it would be home to an NFL team, is considered a viable temporary stadium.
Meanwhile, Davis reportedly owns a parcel of land between Austin and San Antonio that might be considered a potential location for a new stadium. A possible roadblock to the Raiders potential move to the San Antonio area would be Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is expected to oppose another team in Texas.