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The San Diego Raiders

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Our sister paper in LA has been letting the world know that the Raiders could end up in San Diego. Vincent Bonsignore is very well-sourced. I saw that first-hand in Houston last week. It’s clear that the Raiders will leverage other markets to try to extract concessions from Oakland. However, I’m not sure the Raiders-to-San Diego narrative is as rosy as it might appear.

To read Vincent’s recent column, click here.

I’m going to highlight some of his statements below and give my two cents. Here we go:

According to sources, San Diego is a very real and viable option. It’s a market the NFL absolutely wants to be in, and one the league is comfortable the Raiders would dominate.

Let’s be real: The Raiders haven’t dominated a market in 35 years. The didn’t dominate LA, and they’ve been second fiddle here since their return. Losing hasn’t helped, but the big reason is the team can’t sit still. Moving a third time — to a city where they’re largely despised — doesn’t seem like a recipe market domination, no matter what folks in the NFL want to believe.

In other words, the NFL would have a strong presence in San Diego (if the Raiders moved there) and be able to leverage the Bay Area to motivate current markets into securing stadium deals for their teams.

Huh? The Bay Area as the new Los Angeles? Would Jed York willingly rent out his stadium and share a market he would completely control after the Raiders left town? If not, that means this new team would be moving to a city (Oakland) that refuses to contribute to a stadium and whose own stadium study shows a limited market for PSLs, luxury boxes, etc.

Then there’s the issue that many of the fans this new team would try to win over would probably still be rooting for the Raiders. Not exactly as exciting as moving to a vacant Los Angeles.

 

As for the Raiders, a move to San Diego is advantageous for a number of reasons.

The Silver and Black have a strong foothold in Southern California, and can count on support from nearby Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and even Ventura counties. In addition to San Diego, of course.

You’d guys know better than me, but isn’t there a big difference between circling one game on the calendar and driving or flying two hours for it, and doing that for every game? Can a franchise really be successful with a commuter fan base?

 

The key is, can the Raiders do what the Chargers could not: Agree on a stadium deal with San Diego, and get it approved?

Obviously that remains to be seen. But two things to consider: If San Diego loses the Chargers, the mindset shifts from keeping the NFL to attracting the NFL. So there will be ample motivation.

There are several examples of cities that lost their NFL team and then offered generous public subsides to get one back (St. Louis, Baltimore, Houston Cleveland) What does San Diego have that those cities don’t have? The best weather in the world.

What other city with great weather also lost its NFL teams? Los Angeles!!! And, did Los Angeles open up its wallet to the NFL after the Raiders and Rams left? It’s wishful thinking on the part of the NFL to think San Diego will act like a rust belt city after losing pro football. It’s much more likely that it will act like Los Angeles.

 

Davis isn’t looking to build an extravagant $1.7 billion stadium. He wants a modest, contemporary venue that includes all the bells and whistles and revenue streams of new stadiums around the league.

But at a much smaller price tag.

In other words, he can approach San Diego with much more palatable and less expensive needs. For local leaders, that means a more doable stadium plan both economically and politically.

First off, we don’t know if Davis’ Oakland stadium would really cost just $900 million. And that isn’t much lower than San Diego’s $1.1 billion plan. More important thing to remember is that the Raiders are proposing a small stadium in Oakland because there are studies showing that it’s all the market offers.

The Carson stadium was bigger with more suites and club seating because it was assumed the LA market could fill it. If the Raiders go to San Diego, they’ll likely want a stadium that will meet market demand for the team. There’s reason to question how much market demand there would be, but if the Raiders think there’s bigger demand than in Oakland, they would likely want a stadium to meet that demand.

And, even if the Raiders wanted less than $350 million from San Diego, that doesn’t mean San Diego residents would vote for it.

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Matt Artz

  • BORN/BRED/SILVER/BLACK

    RAAAIIIIIIIIDERRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSS

  • willy91137

    NO not the San Diego Raiders

  • SB3

    We have GREAT Mexican food / mariscos.

  • Back-N-Black

    move along…another post

  • BOrez

    Jr has painted himself into a corner that he cannot get out from. He now has zero leverage. Oakland will not give him land that he wants for free. The walls are closing
    in on him as time is running short on where the Raiders will play this coming year. Even if he had potential buyers to buy in, it would behoove them to wait this out longer to lessen the buy in price. Jr should realize he needs to revisit co-sharing the Levi stadium option and stop being so stubborn. After all, he was willing to move 400 miles south to share Carson with the Chargers, why not move 40 miles south to Santa Clara and share with the 49ers?

  • anchoviesrule

    As a long time Charger fan if Spanos takes them to LA hell yeah I would Support the Raiders if they are in San Diego as would most of my friends Any team hailing from San Diego would attract a huge following in San Diego & Tijuana not counting all the fans in the rest of So Cal. Let the Chargers stumble North. So Cal & Lo Cal & Baja would explode for the Raiders I live in San Diego county & have been a Charger ticket holder for probably 15 years off & on but if the Chargers go to LA & the Raiders come to San Diego they will sell out every game.

  • Turtle named Mack

    As a longtime Raiders fan and sometimes season ticket holder, I am beginning resent the extortion by NFL billionaires (and MD) and am starting to get comfortable with the idea of life as an ex NFL fan.

  • Homer J

    What Mack said.

  • BoltDaddy

    At this point as a former Chargers fan, thanks for liberating me Dean Spanos, I would love the idea of the antaginistic Raiders taking up residence in the Chargers home, literally. I would also welcome the Raider Nation to SD to mix and mingle with the recently converted locals. As much as keeping the Chargers would have been ideal when they walk SD is still interested in being an NFL city and who better to choose than your old girl friend’s nemisis? SD welcomes Da Raidah Nation

  • diddley

    San Diegan here. We supported the Chargers, they were the home team. Took plenty of abuse. Will a lot of us go to the dark side and support the Raiders? I traded my Mustang and got a Corvette.