The Oakland Raiders were among the many losers in the NFL’s decision to approve the Rams’ plan to relocate to Los Angeles. The Raiders had teamed up with the San Diego Chargers on a competing plan to move to the City of Angels, but not only did league owners choose the Rams’ proposal, they also gave the Chargers a window to negotiate terms to join the Rams in their still-to-be-built stadium. (Only if the Chargers can’t work out a deal can the Raiders start negotiating themselves.) Meanwhile, the Raiders’ lease is up in Oakland, and their owner hasn’t been shy about saying that they’ll move elsewhere if they can’t get a stadium deal to their liking in the Bay Area. And now as that all plays out, billionaire former Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs is trying to convince the Raiders to consider settling in San Antonio.
McCombs, a Texas native and the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, said in a radio interview yesterday that he talked to Raiders owner Mark Davis after he withdrew his Los Angeles application, and told him that not only are there several locations that could work in San Antonio, but he already has commitments from 12 corporate sponsors who would get involved. McCombs also told him he’d be willing to buy into the franchise if that’s what it took.
McCombs said that while the NFL would need to approve the move, he didn’t think it would be a problem because of the trouble the Raiders have had in getting a new stadium in Oakland.
“He was born and raised there, and he has a great feeling for the state of California,” McCombs said of Davis, whose father, Al, was the franchise’s longtime owner. “But it appears he is going to need to go somewhere.”
After the Los Angeles plan fell through, Davis talked about the need to move … somewhere. “We don’t have a lease right now at the Oakland Coliseum,” he said. “America, the world is a possibility for the Raider Nation.”
Adding to the speculation that the Raiders might consider San Antonio is a report that Davis, who had previously met with local leaders in 2014 and scouted the area, has already secured land in Texas on which he could build a stadium. He could use it as leverage against Oakland, but its location halfway between San Antonio and Austin would also make an attractive place to build, should a move to Texas become a reality.