Although Raiders owner Mark Davis wants to keep his , it’s starting to look more and more like no one in Oakland actually wants that.
Not only are the Raiders losing fans in the city (as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora ), but it appears that they’ve also lost the support of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which is kind of a big deal because that’s the entity that runs the stadium the Raiders plan to play in over the next three seasons.
During an interview with USA Today on Tuesday, the executive director of the stadium authority, Scott McKibben, pretty much said that he definitely doesn’t want the Raiders playing at the Coliseum in 2019.
“I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation, and that of my board members -- I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season [in Oakland],” McKibben said.
After the NFL’s 32 ownersto Oakland on Monday, Davis said he would like to keep the Raiders in Oakland until the team’s Las Vegas stadium was ready, which is expected to come before the 2020 season.
However, there was one huge caveat: The Raiders are only going to stay if they’re actually getting support.
“We have two more years of lease options for Oakland right now,” Davis said Monday. “If the fans would like us to stay there, we’d love to be there for that and possibly talk to them about extending it for maybe 2019 as well and try to bring a championship back to Oakland.”
Due to the Raiders’ lease, the stadium authority can’t technically kick the Raiders out until after the 2018 season, but if it were to become possible, it sounds like McKibben would be all for kicking them out earlier.
“It’s actually financially to our benefit if they didn’t exercise the options and play here even in the two years they’ve got [in 2017 and 2018],” McKibben added.
The good news for McKibben is that there’s a possibility that the Raiders could leave Oakland after the 2017 season. The Raiders have a pair of one-year team options at the Coliseum, and it’s possible that they’ll pass on the 2018 option if they don’t get any support in 2017.
As McKibben noted, if the Raiders were to leave Oakland, the Coliseum would actually make more money without them. According to McKibben, the Coliseum makes roughly $7 million a year from the Raiders, but it spends $8 million. If the Raiders leave, that $1 million net loss per season leaves with them.
If Davis thought this was going to be a clean divorce, it appears he thought wrong.
If the Raiders do leave Oakland before 2020, they’ll have several options of cities to move to on a temporary basis. Both San Antonio and the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, California,.
One place that doesn’t seem to be a temporary option is the city the Raiders are moving to: Las Vegas.
Although a UNLV spokesman told USA Today that the Raiders playing in the school’s 35,000 seat Sam Boyd Stadium has been “discussed as a potential solution,” Davis apparently wants no part of that.
“I want to come into Las Vegas clean,” Davis told ESPN.
Fans in Oakland will probably find that statement a bit ironic since he just did that city dirty.