While they await a move to Las Vegas in 2020, Oakland Raiders team owner Mark Davis is working out a deal for the team to play home games at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Stadium
The Raiders do not have anywhere to play home games after Oakland-Alameda County decided to not renew the lease on their stadium for the 2019 season.
According to reports by Raj Mathai, Davis is expected to finalize a deal in which the Raiders play home games at Oracle Stadium in San Francisco, which requires approval of both the San Francisco 49ers and the league offices at the NFL. The Niners hold territorial rights over the city.
“I think the hope of Mark is to continue to be in the Bay Area with the Raiders’ fans,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Raiders previously shared Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the Oakland A’s baseball team.
San Francisco Raiders
The Raiders want to continue to use their practice facility in Oakland, so they were aggressively seeking options to remain in the Bay Area.
In 2014, the San Francisco 49ers left Candlestick Park in San Francisco and head south to a new stadium in Santa Clara. Candlestick was not an option, so the local baseball stadium seemed the next logical choice.
The Giants play home games at Oracle Park, formerly AT&T Stadium. They have converted the field to host college football games before, including a couple of bowl games, but not any NFL games. During the 2011 season, California played Pac-12 games in AT&T Park while their home stadium in Berkley was under renovation.
There is a current scheduling conflict because the Giants have home games scheduled on Sundays in September. The stadium would also have to undergo modifications to bring it up to snuff for NFL games.
The Raiders also considered sharing Levi Stadium in Santa Clara with the Niners, but that backup plan failed to materialize.
Bay Area Twist
The Oakland Raiders skipped town once before. The legendary Al Davis and original rogue owner moved the Raiders to Los Angeles in 1982. The LA Raiders played in Southern California until the 1994 season.
The 1983 Los Angeles Raiders won the Super Bowl when they defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII. That marked the third title for the Raiders franchise. It also marked the last time the Raiders won a Super Bowl. They previously won two in Oakland.
In the mid-1980s, when Davis could not acquire funding for a stadium in Los Angeles. He considered moving the team to Sacramento. In the summer of 1995, Davis agreed to move the Raiders back to Oakland after Oakland-Alameda County spent over $200 million to renovate the coliseum.
A couple of cities were mentioned as a possible home to the Raiders for the 2019 season including San Diego and Las Vegas. San Diego seemed like the most likely choice because the city did not have a team.
San Diego lost the Chargers last season when they migrated north to Los Angeles. Currently, Los Angeles has two pro football teams. The LA Rams, which represented the NFC in the Super Bowl, played their home games at LA Coliseum. The LA Chargers earned an AFC Wild Card berth this season despite playing their home games in a soccer stadium in Carson, located just outside of Los Angeles.
Davis considered moving the Raiders to Las Vegas a year early. However, construction on a new stadium is currently underway and not yet complete. The Raiders could not work out a deal to play games at Sam Boyd Stadium, otherwise known as the old Silver Bowl. Sam Boyd Stadium had a capacity of 36,000.
The Raiders finished the 2018 season with a 4-12 record as one of the worst teams in the NFL. Only the Arizona Cardinals won fewer games.
Justin Herbert, highly-touted quarterback from the Oregon Ducks, reportedly returned to college for his senior season instead of declaring for the NFL draft. Herbert did not want to play for the Oakland/Vegas Raiders. Head coach Jon Gruden was not shy in sharing his love for Herbert. Gruden indicated he would use one of their three first-round picks to acquire Herbert in the 2019 NFL Draft.