City, county officials don’t blame Raiders owner Mark Davis for exploring options with large funding gap for stadium project


Filed for print/web, this version contains reaction from Oakland officials regarding Raiders visit to San Antonio. Staff writer Matthew Artz got reaction from city, county officials.

Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed a published report of a visit with San Antonio officials, but the extent of his interest in relocating his franchise to Texas is not known.

Davis, reached by phone, said he was in San Antonio with close friend and former Raider Cliff Branch, who was being inducted into a local Hall of Fame.

“Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some city officials while I was in town,’’ Davis said. “I have nothing further to discuss on the topic.’’

According to a report in the San Antonio Express News, Davis met with Cisneros, then-mayor Julian Castro, city manager Sheryl Sculley and the president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

Following the initial report, Sculley issued the following memo to the city council, according to the Express-News:

“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence. The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.’’

The Alamodome could serve as a temporary home until a new stadium is built.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters at the team’s training camp in Oxnard he “didn’t make much’’ of the report. Dallas is 274 miles from San Antonio. The Cowboys have trained in San Antonio and consider it their market.

“What I will say is San Antonio is very important to the Dallas Cowboys,’’ Jones said.

A move would require approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners. League spokesman Greg Aiello told the Express News “We have received no applications from any of our teams to relocate at this point, so there is nothing to respond to.’’

The Raiders are in the final year of their lease in Oakland. Davis’ often-stated preference is to build a new stadium on the current site, a wish complicated by a recent 10-year lease agreement by the A’s to remain in Oakland.

While the A’s lease includes a provision for allowing the Raiders to knock down O.co Coliseum to make way for a new football stadium, there remains an estimated $600 million funding gap, according to Oakland officials.

Moreover, city and team officials haven’t even agreed on what type of stadium should be built. The Raiders have said they prefer a smaller, less expansive open-air stadium, while the city is studying the feasibility of a more expensive dome stadium that could attract additional events.

A city-driven effort to find private investors to pump money into a football stadium and adjacent entertainment center so far as been a failure. With both Oakland and Alameda County unwilling to issue stadium bonds _ both agencies are still on the hook for about $140 million for the stadium renovations that brought the Raideres back from Los Angeles – politicians on Tuesday didn’t fault Davis for exploring a move.

“We want the Raiders to stay, but not at any cost,’’ Councilman Larry Reid said. “If the city of San Antonio is willing to float $600 million worth of bonds, then certainly that is an option for the Raiders to consider.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who also heads the board that oversees the Coliseum complex, said he would talk to team management next month to gauge their interest in a lease extension and discuss stadium options.

“(Mark Davis) has made it clear his preference is to stay in Oakland, but his preference may not cut it if we can’t get the financing,’’ Miley said. “If he can get it somewhere else that is a business decision, and I respect that.’’

Staff writer Matthew Artz contributed to this report.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer


    The janitor who cuts his hair with the flowbee.

  • I did have a giant Dubbsack Music sticker on my Geo Prizm.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    glad to hear Streater & Kasa are ok!

  • PlunkforHOF

    Not all of us are old but yes there will be eventual attrition.

  • I could see a situation where they follow them for a little while because of all the fans they have here would mean there is still a market.

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    Jerry McDonald @Jerrymcd
    Marcel Reece makes sweet leaping sideline catch from Schaub against Branch. Crowd chants REEECE
    Tyvon can’t cover a FULLBACK

  • 1960AutumnWind

    I think they did for LA

  • DJ Johnny

    I think Al’s “lieutenants” were probably Jim Otto and…his brother Jerry maybe? Nope. Herrera no doubt.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Been gone for how long. Just coming back ease up….

  • DJ Johnny

    The Mormons are here? Cool. Nice folks.

  • Raider O


  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    glad to see Gabe get some run with the 1’s … sucks not to have a return man. re-sign Higgins!!

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan

    Bergstrom is gone (hot trash). Schaub is a Top 10 QB, like DA said

  • marks hair

    Checked my bspn app for updates.. seems like everyone there’s watching sharknado 2..

  • Darren Rovell has been tweeting about it all damn day long

  • What about the Asian guy who used all the smiley faces or he was pretending to be Asian….

  • JerryMcDonalds#1Fan


  • BuckeyeRaider

    New post fellas. No, seriously….I’m not Dakota’ing you guys.

    That’s right, Dakota. You’re now a verb. Congratulations.

  • jesusraiderjim
  • PlunkforHOF

    Maybe that’s what Jerry is doing.

  • AlDavisJr

    I paid. Worked all summer and during school at work study programs. Then last two years milked cows and hauled hay for my family’s dairy farm. Only took me 5 1/2 years.

  • Howard Benner

    Not only that; he reminds me of a student in a high school journalism class. . .

  • SnBG

    Saw Ol Hue on the NFL Net training camp show. I bet with him running the O Andy will have a pretty good year. All they have to do is get that O line working better than last year and keep players healthy and Andy may just win a playoff game.