I think we all kind of wondered how things were going to go down in Oakland when Mark Davis announced that his Raiders were moving to Las Vegas two years before they were actually going to do it. At least I know I did.
After all, how thrilled can a fanbase be rooting for a team that they know is leaving town? Better yet, how can the Raiders expect anyone in the entire Bay Area to give a rat’s ass about them, FOR TWO YEARS, with that knowledge?
They can’t, of course. Which is why the city of Oakland hit the Raiders and the league’s 31 other teams with a federal antitrust lawsuit in December.
“The defendants brazenly violated federal antitrust law and the league’s own policies when they boycotted Oakland as a host city,” said Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker. “The Raiders’ illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers and dedicated fans with the bill. The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”
It was that lawsuit that basically put the nail in the coffin for the Raiders’ chances of staying in Oakland for one more season. Though it was the Raiders, and not the Oakland Coliseum Authority that rejected a tentative lease agreement to play in Oakland in 2019.
Now, after team owner Mark Davis all but confirmed that the Raiders would be playing the 2019 NFL season in Oracle Park owned by the San Fracisco Giants, the city of San Francisco said no, they are not.
For one thing, the 49ers would have had to waive their territorial rights to allow the Raiders to play in their city. Which they have no reason to do. And second, San Francisco Mayor London Breed also wants no part of the Raiders playing in his city.
“We don’t need another layer to add to what we already have — and that’s an area that’s really congested filled with construction and will host a number of basketball and baseball games over the coming months,” Reed told KTVU Fox 2.
Oh yeah, the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco City Council also don’t want the Raiders coming to town.
So where exactly will the Raiders play in 2019? It won’t be San Diego, the NFL has already said no to that for some reason. Several other places have been mentioned like San Antonio, UNLV, Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
My guess? They’ll end playing in Oakland. After that it will be Titans and Jaguars fans turn to start worrying.