If the Raiders can't get things worked out in Las Vegas, the team might have a relocation option that doesn't involve returning to Oakland.
San Diego hasn't been hiding its interest in the Raiders, either. After the Chargers announced their move, city councilman Scott Sherman was asked if San Diego would consider pursuing the Raiders.
"Sure. If that Vegas deal falls through, they could own California here," Sherman told XTRA 1360 in San Diego on Jan. 12.
At the time, the comment didn't get much attention because it didn't look like there was any way the Raiders' Vegas deal was going to fall through. After all, the Raiders had just met with the NFL's stadium and finance committee to present their plan on how the $1.9 billion stadium in Vegas would be built. A few days after that meeting the Raiders filed for relocation.
At the time, a Raiders move felt like a done deal, but that was before billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson backed out. Adelson was expected to add up to $650 million to the stadium project in Nevada, which leaves a gaping hole in the Raiders' stadium finance plan.
The team had planned to bring in Goldman Sachs to fill the $650 million void, but the financing company reportedly wants nothing to do with the project now that Adelson's out, which brings us back to San Diego.
Not only did councilman Sherman say that the Raiders might be a possibility, but San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer also appears to be interested in getting Oakland's team to move to San Diego. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Faulconer has let the NFL know that the city would like to "engage" with the Raiders about relocation at the appropriate time.
In Vegas, the Raiders and NFL were going to contribute $500 million to the project but that number could potentially jump to $600 million if the league really wants to help San Diego get a team back. When the Rams moved to Los Angeles in January 2016, the NFL offered a $300 million loan to both San Diego and Oakland if they were able to figure out a stadium deal with the Chargers and Raiders. That was $100 million above the usual $200 million that the league generally offers when a city is looking to build a new stadium.
Before the Chargers left, the city tentatively put together a plan that included a $375 million contribution from a combination of entities that include the city of San Diego, San Diego County and San Diego State University, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
If you combined that money with the $300 million that the NFL has already pledged toward a San Diego stadium, and another potential $300 million from the Raiders, that puts $975 million toward a stadium. The deal would still need an additional $100 million to $175 million, but it's not impossible.
The reason this plan didn't work for the Chargers is because the plan was based on building a stadium in Mission Valley, where Qualcomm Stadium currently sits. The Chargers wanted nothing to do with the plan because they were hoping to build a stadium in downtown San Diego.
If Raiders owner Mark Davis loses his big gamble in Vegas, and still can't get a stadium deal done in Oakland, it wouldn't be crazy to think that he might start looking at San Diego, especially considering how popular the Raiders are in Southern California. It's a long shot that they'll end up in San Diego, but with Davis and the Raiders, pretty much anything's a possibility until a deal actually gets done somewhere.