Oakland Raiders Relocating to San Diego is Just Talk And Nothing More

Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) works against San Diego Chargers tackle Joe Barksdale (72) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) works against San Diego Chargers tackle Joe Barksdale (72) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The potential relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas is dead in the water, and now Mark Davis has his sights set on San Diego.

The Oakland Raiders franchise is kind of in limbo right now. After failing to get a deal done in Las Vegas, it’s back to the drawing board for Mark Davis.

The city of Oakland won’t subsidize the team for stadium construction. Oakland, on the whole, seems somewhat indifferent to keeping or losing the Raiders. Maybe they’re more worried about the A’s. Who knows?

City officials may be apathetic, but former Niner and Raider Ronnie Lott has an investment group waiting in the wings. Their initial proposal was full of holes, but Lott’s group is shoring up that proposal and Lott said in a statement yesterday “if the Raiders want to stay in Oakland, we are more than ready in being a partner to make that happen.”

Las Vegas was looking like a great option. They were offering $750M in public funding for a new complex, and a chance to actually bring this franchise into business relevance and Forbes valuation.

That means they just needed more money. No problem. Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was in for investing, and bringing Goldman-Sachs with him. Since it’s not 2008, this was a good thing. 

Well, Mark Davis handled that deal with all the flair he brings to his 1998 Dodge Caravan and his bowl-cut and the deal is now dead. Davis and the Raiders proposed a $1 per year lease for the $1.9B stadium, and that the franchise would control and run everything. Adelson understandably said thanks, but no thanks.

Adelson is a very influential man in Vegas. Goldman Sachs has a lot of money. Neither want anything to do with Davis or the Raiders anymore. Adelson was a key cog in getting the hotel tax passed that would provide the Raiders with their $750M in public funding. He is said to be “very disappointed, very unhappy” about the Raiders situation.

The Raiders pursuit of Vegas is no sure thing given what’s transpired — and it’s not just funding:

That’s understandable, as the Raiders would be pariahs in Vegas if that were the perception.

San Antonio? Yeah, we remember that dalliance. That’s exactly what it was. No bloody way Jerr-uh or Bob McNair would allow a 3rd Texas NFL team. So, just quash that talk now.

Does anybody want the Raiders? When they are talented and relevant for the first time in 14 years? Anyone?

Oh, right. San Diego.

Per a recent article in the San Diego Tribune by Kevin Acee, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has spoken with NFL officials to let them know San Diego still really wants an NFL team. This is after the Chargers bolted for Los Angeles as soon as the calendar turned 2017.

San Diego is proposing to land an expansion MLS franchise, and part of their proposal includes a 16-acre plot specifically set aside for an NFL stadium. The city pledged $375M to the Chargers. The NFL has promised a $300M loan to San Diego to build a stadium.

Yet this wasn’t enough for the Chargers. After having the chance at a $1.9B complex in Las Vegas — would the Raiders really settle for a $900M stadium in San Diego? Unlikely.

Yet San Diego is offering the Raiders the exact same proposal that they offered the Chargers. But somehow, with the Vegas deal stalling at the moment, they are playing on the leverage they have.

I know that Raider games in Qualcomm always sounded and seemed like Raider some games, but the San Diego Raiders?

My fingers went numb as I typed that — they were running away from the thought. I mean. Come on man. San Diego Raiders? Regardless of whether or not a rival lived there for years — It. Just. Does. Not. Flow.

Las Vegas Raiders doesn’t as well as Oakland either — but it still works. San Diego? Just doesn’t.

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If the idea of the Las Vegas Raiders is odd and doesn’t sit well with Raider Nation, what about the San Diego Raiders? How does that feel?

Kind of like a Philly Riv toss hitting your beanbags, perhaps?

Well, the chances are slim but Faulconer is serious about bringing an NFL team back to San Diego sooner than later, and would be fine with it being their Northern rivals. He spoke with the NFL to say, basically, hey remember us? With the swell weather and the moneyed fanbase? Yeah, we want back in.

He also contacted Raider officials to basically say hey, I heard that Vegas thing wasn’t going so well — don’t forget about your old pals down here in SD!

At this point though, it’s getting embarrassing for Davis. He so publicly flirted with Vegas and has basically called it a done deal. The team filed official paperwork to relocate on January 19th.

Yet the deal is gone. Adelson is gone and it’s telling that he’s the one disappointed and frustrated by the deal falling apart. Usually in that case, it’s the other party that has either not been forthright or changed the game toward the end. Indications are that Davis and the Raiders have done both in this situation.

Next: New Episode of the JBB Podcast

And that just might have Davis driving his ’98 Caravan for a new bowl cut in Southern California.