If Roger Goodell means what he says then the Oakland Raiders will remain right where they are. Despite Mark Davis’ insistence on keeping the channels open for a return to Los Angeles, commissioner Goodell would prefer all NFL franchises to remain where they are.
The commish said as much when he stated that if the NFL were to add a team or two in L.A. that both franchises would be of the expansion variety. Thus all the talk about the Raiders moving south once again is just that, talk.
Of course Mark Davis already made it clear that if a suitable deal were on the table the moving vans would already be on the 5 headed to downtown Los Angeles. Currently there are two competing bids to build stadiums in the Los Angeles area yet neither has come to any fruition as of yet. But that’s just how the NFL wants it. The league won’t add just one expansion team. In order to keep things even they’d need two. Therefore the dueling L.A. stadium proposals are in step with what Goodell wants to see.
As for the Raiders, there is still the stadium issue to deal with in the coming years. Currently the Coliseum lease is set to expire in 2013. There has been talk of the 49ers and Raiders sharing a stadium but that too seems like pipe dream.
So, what will the Raiders do?
There is no doubt a new venue is in the cards. The coliseum just isn’t on par with many modern NFL stadiums at least not from a facilities standpoint. Mark Davis might not be able to use franchise relocation as leverage but that only applies to leaving for Los Angeles. If the Raiders and 49ers are to share a stadium then the franchises could be making a move of the closer variety. A move none the less which would have the Raiders based outside of the East Bay potentially.
Goodell has already offered support for shared venue in the Bay. However the fans of both franchises seem highly unlikely to embrace a shared stadium.
Safe to say the changes in Oakland are just underway. A new era of Raider football is upon us. While the new coach, GM and owner all get their ducks in line the looming questions about the franchise will quickly come into frame.