At a time when the Vikings have emerged as a prime candidate to move to Los Angeles, the owner of the team that many think is at the top of the short list of potential candidates for relocation has said he prefers to stay where he is.
Raiders owner Mark Davis recently said he wants to keep the team where it has been since returning from L.A. in 1995.
“Oakland is my preference,” Davis said Friday, according to BayAreaNewsGroup.com (via NFL.com). “I see us as an urban team, being in a city. I want it to work here. I’d like to stay here.”
Davis denied a recent report that he was spotted at a Clippers basketball game with Ed Roski, who hopes to build an NFL stadium in the City of Industry.
To stay in Oakland, the Raiders need a new stadium. And while it seems like a no-brainer for the Raiders to share space with the 49ers in their forthcoming Santa Clara $1.2 billion stadium, Davis said there’s little chance it will happen. But he wouldn’t close the door on the possibility.
“We have to do something,” Davis said of the venue his team currently shares with the A’s. “We’re opening the season on a Monday night, national TV, and we’ll be playing on dirt.”
The notion of “doing something” presumably includes a possible move to L.A., especially since the company that is trying to build a stadium in downtown Los Angeles is hoping to land the management contract for the Raiders’ current home. But a league source with knowledge of the NFL’s relocation dynamics tells PFT that the Raiders won’t be regarded as a candidate to occupy the Los Angeles market unless and until Davis sells the team.
Davis, who inherited the franchise after his father, Al Davis, died during the 2011 season, has shown no inclination to sell.
So while AEG has promised not to talk to the Raiders about trying to move to L.A. if AEG wins the management contract at O.co Coliseum, AEG could try to persuade Davis to sell to AEG’s owner, Philip Anschutz.