Raiders most likely to play in Bay Area in 2019 at the stadium of either 49ers or Giants
However, it's still not out of the question that the Raiders play one more season in Oakland
The Raiders still have not made significant progress toward finding a home for the 2019 season, league sources said, although staying in the Bay Area remains the most likely scenario. At this point, playing next season sharing Levi's Stadium with the 49ers or AT&T Park with the San Francisco Giants are seen as the most likely scenarios.
Raiders officials are against having to play in the 49ers stadium, but at this point owner Mark Davis has limited leverage. From the NFL's standpoint, Levi's Stadium makes far and away the most sense and is the easiest in terms of logistics, including technology and staffing issues. One source with knowledge of the situation said that he would strongly bet on the team playing next season at one of those two stadiums. It is still not out of the realm of possibility that the team plays one more season in Oakland, though the issues with the lease and the city's lawsuit against the Raiders have deeply complicated the matter.
"The Raiders don't want to play at Levi's, but from the league's standpoint this really would be a layup," according to a source with knowledge of the situation. "All of the infrastructure is already there. It would be the cheapest and the easiest."
The Raiders and the NFL continue to monitor the possibility of playing at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, as we first reported early in the 2018 season, but that does not have strong support among the league office or with other owners. It is not out of the question, I'm told, but is seen as more remote. There has also been some work done on exploring the option of playing in Reno, Nevada for one season, sources said, and that is at least seen as a possibility, though issues with the stadium and staffing all of those game-day employees could be problematic.
The most remote of all options that has at least been talked about within the NFL offices is London. Sources said while it did merit cursory discussion, the cost and difficulties that would be incurred with having a West Coast team play a full-season home schedule in London are seen as untenable. The Raiders would incur massive bills and the schedule would be a nightmare. "I will call it an extreme long shot, if even that," said one source with knowledge of the situation.
There has not been discussion about San Antonio or any other locale, sources said.
The NFL would like this issue resolved by shortly after the Super Bowl. Howard Katz and his team launch into prolonged scheduling meetings generally within a week of the league crowning a champion, and that is an arduous process enough even when the league knows where every team is playing. Issues of availability and conflicts with other events further complicate the process, and a final determination should be made next month.
"If I was a betting man, I'd bet on them playing in San Francisco," the league source said.
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