The Oakland Raiders or the National Football League team Raiders don’t currently have a home for the upcoming 2019 season.
To put this into greater perspective, if the season started today, the Raiders might have to play all 16 games as the road team. As the team currently waits for their $1.8 billion Las Vegas stadium to be completed in time for the 2020 season, the transition from the 2018 season to 2019 season has already been off to a rocky start.
Things started to go awry back in early December when the city of Oakland sued the Raiders as well as the NFL, which challenged the move of the Raiders to Las Vegas. Before this lawsuit was put up, Raiders owner Mark Davis came out saying that if Oakland took this to court, then the Raiders wouldn’t play another season inside the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. And they did just that by pulling the plug on their $7.5 million lease to play in Oakland in 2019.
That now leads to the upcoming season and the notion of the Raiders sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. Now, the 49ers do not want them to play in San Francisco, yet they have a deal in place for the Raiders to play in Santa Clara.
“Obviously, we’ve always said to Mark (Davis) that we’re happy to entertain or be an option for them,” 49ers President Al Guido said on 95.7 The Game in January. “I think our stance has never really changed on that front.”
The stadium itself is capable of hosting two home teams as it has three locker rooms. As for Davis, he never thought of Levi’s Stadium being the place for his team.
“I just don’t think it fits the Raiders,” Davis said back in 2016 before the move to Las Vegas.
The team has also been recently linked to using the home of the San Francisco Giants, Oracle Park, according to Raj Mathai of NBC Bay Area. That alone sounds very interesting: the Oakland Raiders of San Francisco. Yet, the San Francisco 49ers are not willing to waive their “territorial rights” in order for the Raiders play seven games in the city that is included within their name.
“As far as I’m concerned, the Oakland Raiders should play in Oakland,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed while speaking with KTVU. Mayor Breed is among many Giants and 49ers fans who opposed the idea from the start.
If the Raiders were to move into Oracle Park it would only add complications to the area since the Golden State Warriors are moving right down to 3rd street to the new Chase Center.
With almost nothing in their favor, the Raiders now have to pick ultimately what’s best for them. Oakland should be their only option because it’s what the fans want. Head Coach Jon Gruden along with quarterback Derek Carr wish to remain in Oakland for at least seven more home games but unless the team makes the first move to negotiate a one-year deal in place, Oakland will continue with the lawsuit.
“As far as timing, the key thing about timing is our schedule. We need to make a schedule, obviously, for the 2019 season,” said Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner. “And the sooner, the better for us.”
The whole situation is very fascinating, and the verdict will be figured out before the new NFL season starts officially on March 13.