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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 there is not known.
Davis, reached by phone, said he was in San Antonio with close friend and former teammate 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, the city manager and the president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
Following the initial report, city manager Sheryl Scully 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 diligience. 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.
According to the report, Davis was not seeking a stadium similar to the Dallas Cowboys, but a smaller, intimate stadium that would include a state of his father, Al Davis, in front.
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.
Branch was inducted as a track athlete into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The PVILCA honors black athletes who excelled during the segregationist era from 1920-1970. Branch was inducted as a track athlete from Houston’s Worthing High School.