NFL commissioner pledges to help keep Raiders in Oakland

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes Raiders owner Mark Davis wants to find a long-term solution in Oakland. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

 (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The first question Roger Goodell faced Friday was a familiar one: what about the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers now that the Rams are back in Los Angeles.

As he’s been saying all week, the commissioner pledged “to do everything possible” to help get new stadiums built in their current cities.

“The league supports both of these teams, but we are working very hard with not only the teams but the communities to try to find a solution that works for everybody,” he said. “This has to work for the communities, and it has to work for the teams long-term”

For San Diego, which has first dibs on joining the Rams in Los Angeles, the path looks clear: come up with a stadium deal (Downtown or Mission Valley) and put a measure on the November ballot for voters to decide whether they want to help pay for it.

Oakland may be a tougher nut to crack considering that polls have shown little voter support for helping pay for a new stadium. So how can the NFL really help?

I asked NFL Senior Vice President Eric Grubman Friday about past reports that the league would consider developing a stadium in Oakland. The NFL had looked into to buying the Inglewood land, which the Rams later acquired.

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Mark Davis talks … to Tim Kawakami

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, left, shakes hands with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, right, as Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II looks on after an NFL owners meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Houston. The owners voted to allow the Rams to move to a new stadium just outside Los Angeles, and the San Diego Chargers will have an option to share the facility. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

 (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

In his first in-depth interview since finishing third in “a three-horse race” for Los Angeles, Mark Davis confirmed he wants to extend his Coliseum lease for a year.

He also talked about last week’s “great great” meeting with honchos in Las Vegas  (He spent 45 minutes with Steve Wynn!!!) and a bit about San Diego, which he called “a phenomenal place.”

He said there could be other Bay Area locations that might interest him, but once again ruled out sharing Levi’s Stadium.

Davis said it’s up to Dean Spanos now to determine what happens in SoCal.

Listen to the interview here.


Chargers staying in San Diego for 2016 // Maybe forever


La RAiders

Don’t bury the Los Angeles Raiders just yet. On the same day he reached a tentative deal to share the Rams’ future stadium in Inglewood, San Diego Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos said he would keep the team in San Diego for the upcoming season while working with officials on a stadium deal.

If a deal is reached, that means the Raiders would get the option to move to Los Angeles, and they would appear likely to exercise it.

Here is the statement from Spanos:

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Las Vegas Raiders? Don’t bet on it



Forget the Alamo. Vegas wants the Raiders. But don’t schedule any weekend Sin City benders this autumn or any other. The NFL has never been bullish on having a team in the legal gambling capital of the country.

Still, what’s the harm in talking. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Mark Davis is scheduled to meet Friday with billionaire casino magnate and Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson. Adelson’s company is planning a $1 billion football stadium near the UNLV campus.

Below is a short story I wrote fro the sports section:

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Mark Davis: Now and forever

Jack Del Rio, the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, is introduced by general manager Reggie McKenzie, left, and owner Mark Davis during a press conference at the Raiders headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Jack Del Rio, the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, is introduced by general manager Reggie McKenzie, left, and owner Mark Davis during a press conference at the Raiders headquarters in Alameda, Calif., Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Whenever there’s a rumor about someone like Larry Ellison buying the Raiders, the assumption is that Mark Davis will have to sell at some point to avoid a massive estate tax hit when his mother dies.

But that might no longer be a concern for the Davis clan. According to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (last year), the NFL quietly changed ownership requirements to help teams stay within families while avoiding costly estate taxes. Read about it here.


Raider Nation of non-Domination (in SoCal)


La RAidersWith the notion out there that the Raiders would “dominate” in San Diego thanks to their fan base in LA, here’s a look at how the Raiders fared — from an attendance standpoint —  when they were nearby all those fans.

Below are game-by-game attendance figures for the LA Raiders from 1990 to 1993. Average attendance those years was 52,786. To be fair, attendance figures weren’t so hot up here when ticket prices were sky high. Continue Reading


Philip Rivers on San Diego Raiders: Don’t make me puke!


philip Rivers

The thought of the Raiders calling San Diego home makes Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers a little nauseous.

From Mighty 1090 in San Diego:

“That one is going to get me a little nauseated, to be honest with you. The thought of that one is a little sickening. That one is hard to stomach. It’s hard enough thinking about moving…”


The Station also interviewed folks about rooting for the Chargers in LA or the Raiders in San Diego. Funny segment.


Poll: San Diego doesn’t want the Raiders


chargers raiders

Click here for a recent UT San Diego poll on the NFL in San Diego.

Here is the key question for Raiders fans:

If the Chargers leave San Diego, would you sup-port an attempt to bring the Oakland Raiders here? Would you support an at-tempt to bring another NFL team here? Or would you not support an attempt to bring another NFL Team here:

Raiders: 18 percent
Another Team: 34 percent
No Team: 45 percent
Not Sure: 3 percent

One more key question:

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The San Diego Raiders


san diego

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.

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