Raiders fans this week had to deal with swirling rumors that the team may be eying a move to Los Angeles – yet again.
A Sporting News article insinuated the team is close to moving should the city of Oakland deny further requests to build a new stadium.
With the Raiders’ lease expiring after this season, the article cited comments from Raiders owner Mark Davis about not wanting to sign another short-term lease.
The article includes a few quotes from an economics professor and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Earlier this year, Jones said:
“It’s more imminent than any time since we haven’t had a team in Los Angeles.”
Funny that Jones might say something like that, because he recently mentioned that he and the late Al Davis became close personal friends. In fact, he mentioned that during the telecast of the Raiders preseason opener against Jones’ Cowboys.
Could there be a master plan at work here? It’s certainly possible.
The timing of the article also raises eyebrows since Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has been working emphatically on developing what she refers to as “Coliseum City.”
Quan told SFGate her plan for Coliseum City was not just about sports, but about the entire city of Oakland:
“It’s not about the sports stadium. It’s about how much more profit (can be made) off of the development around the sports teams. The area around the Coliseum is one of the largest areas of undeveloped land in a major urban area, so there’s a lot of potential. And it would mean more than 30,000 new jobs.”
Quan’s plan is an effort to keep all three Oakland teams from moving, even as the Warriors announced a plan to build a new arena in San Francisco and the Athletics have been posturing with San Jose for years with a similar idea.
A coliseum complex would be a win for everybody – perhaps excluding A’s owner Lewis Wolff, who has major financial interests in San Jose – and would certainly make Oakland fans very happy.
The city of Oakland also has an ally in the statehouse, Governor Jerry Brown, who as former Oakland mayor, has a sentimental connection to the two teams, at least. Hopefully, Brown would understand how devastating the potential moves of each team could be for the city and its residents.
Mayor Quan may need to be more aggressive than ever now that the Warriors have cemented their plans to move out of the aging complex and other city officials have said they’re on board as well.
Few in Oakland want teams to move away, and the chances of the Raiders slipping away are slim. So fear not, Raiders fans. Your Silver and Black will remain in Oakland.