Yes, Raiders owner Mark Davis recently took a trip to San Antonio.
We know this because the Raiders posted a three-part message on the matter at the team’s Twitter page, in response to the report from the San Antonio Express-News that the team could move to Texas.
“I was in San Antonio to honor Cliff Branch on his induction into the [Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame],” Davis said. “Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some of the city officials while we were in town.”
Meet about what?
“I have nothing further to discuss on the topic,” Davis said.
Despite Davis slamming the door, San Antonio has more to say, via a memo sent by City Manager Sheryl Sculley to City Council after the news of the visit broke on Tuesday.
“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff,” Sculley wrote. “Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence. The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.”
Davis has been careful not to talk too much about possibly moving the team, because he doesn’t want to be perceived as making threats. By meeting with officials from other cities about a possible relocation, he’s nevertheless exploring options and/or exerting leverage and/or laying the foundation to leave.
With a one-year lease at the O.co Coliseum, Davis could in theory leave Oakland after the 2014 season. But at least 23 other owners would have to support the move. The two already in Texas may not be thrilled with the potential dilution of the overall marketplace.
The NBA team in San Antonio also may not be thrilled with the dilution of its own fan base. Per the Express-News, the Spurs are concerned that the Raiders (who wear the same colors as the Spurs) could impact the financial success of the defending NBA champions.
While it’s easy to assume nothing will happen with the Raiders and San Antonio, something has to happen for the team in Oakland or something will happen for it in some other city.