Could Mark Davis pull a “Like Father, Like Son” and move the Raiders out of Oakland? According to a report from the San Antonio Express-News, Davis met with San Antonio officials on July 18 about potential moving the team once the lease expires after this season.
According to the league rules, 24 of 32 owners must approve such a move, something that is no guarantee. Then we could be looking at Davis vs. the NFL part deux (Al famously battled Rozelle in several legal cases).
Oakland is part of the Bay Area market that is the sixth-largest in the country. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, and Bob McNair and the Texans would likely have some views on this move, to a market that is currently three hours from both of them. Other owners may take issue with moving to a market more in line with Kansas City and Cincinnati and ahead of only four teams in size.
Stadiums in California have been an issue for the league. San Diego plays in one of the oldest stadiums in the league, and the Rams and Raiders both left the Los Angeles area in the 90’s. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, move out of their long-time home at Candlestick and into the new Levi’s Stadium this year. Coincidentally, on the same day that Davis reportedly met with San Antonio officials, Roger Goodell talked about the possibility of the Raiders and 49ers sharing the stadium. The Giants and Jets, the only other two teams to occupy one television market, do share a stadium and jointly worked on getting it together. Davis, however, has repeatedly refused to consider that as an option. Interesting that his stated position for that is he doesn’t want to move the team and “abandon Oakland”. From the LA Times in March:
“The problem was, when they started building it, if we’d have gone with them then we’d have been abandoning Oakland,” Davis said. “The whole time, I’ve been up and up with everybody that I’m negotiating in good faith. So I couldn’t be involved with the 49ers and still be doing it good faith, and using that as leverage or anything else.
“By the time the 49ers finished their building — and you’ve got to give them credit for getting something done in California — it’s a 49er building. It’s like the Jets and the Giants in the old Meadowlands. We’d be like a second tenant. That’s not what I want for the Raiders and their legacy.”
Here’s a part that has to make Raiders fans bristle. From the San Antonio News-Express: “Davis told San Antonio civic and business leaders he isn’t seeking a ‘Jerry Jones-type facility’ and prefers ‘a small, intimate’ stadium that he can place ‘a statue of his father in front of,’ a source said.”
A statue of Al Davis in Texas? Doesn’t seem right. Or maybe with Al’s battles with the league, it seems just right.