Where will Raiders play in 2019? Two cities without NFL teams are reportedly teaming up on bid
We still don't know where the Raiders will play in 2019, but two cities in different parts of the country have a solution
With less than seven months to go until the NFL season kicks off, the Raiders still don't have a city to call home for 2019, but that could change if the team is willing to listen to a proposal that was sent out this week by two cities that want to co-host the Raiders this year.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, the cities of Tucson and Birmingham want to team up and jointly host the Raiders for their seven-game home schedule this season. Oh, and since this is the Raiders we're talking about, we should probably clarify that the Birmingham in this instance is Birmingham, Alabama -- not Birmingham, England.
This wild idea actually started in January when Tucson attorney Ali Farhang talked to Raiders president Marc Badain about the possibility of the team playing its home games in Arizona. Amazingly, the Raiders didn't immediately shoot down the idea and they even agreed to have a follow-up conversation with Farhang.
Although the idea didn't gain much traction in January, Farhang decided to share the idea again in February since the Raiders are basically at square one as of last week. Just after the Super Bowl, it was reported that the team was close to cutting a deal with the San Francisco Giants to play (formerly AT&T Park). However, that idea got shot down after San Francisco mayor London Breed .
With San Francisco out of the running, that basically leaves the Raiders with two options: play at Levi's Stadium with the 49ers, or return to Oakland, a city that happens to be suing the Raiders.
Since Raiders owner Mark Davis isn't a huge fan of either option, Farhang decided to modify his original proposal and present a third option: play in Tucson and Birmingham.
Sure, the cities are 1,600 miles apart, but Farhang believes that it can work.
"Tucson and Birmingham are proposing a collaboration to see if such a scenario would be attractive to the Raiders," Farhang said, via ABC 15. "It's just at the proposal stage at this point."
In Birmingham, the idea is being pushed by city council president pro tem William Parker.
"The fans in Alabama love football. Obviously, the people in San Francisco and Oakland don't want them and there's a fan base here for the Raiders," Parker said, via AL.com.
Parker also noted that he's "got calls from a lot of citizens saying they've been Raiders fans since they were kids." The fact that there are a lot of Raiders fans in Alabama makes sense, since one of the Raiders' most iconic players -- Ken Stabler -- went to school at the University of Alabama.
With the Raiders already scheduled to play one game in London next season, the remaining seven home games would be split between Arizona Stadium and Birmingham's Legion Field. The stadium in Tucson, which seats 57,400, is home to the University of Arizona, while the stadium in Birmingham can seat up to 71,500 and is home to the AAF's Iron.
Although this bi-city proposal sounds a little crazy, everything with the Raiders sounds a little crazy at this point, so the only crazy thing would be to rule out any potential options. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has in the Bay Area this year, but if Tucson and Birmingham come up with a sweet enough offer, there's always a chance Davis will take it.
The good news for the Raiders is that their homeless run is expected to last only one season, and that's because they're scheduled to move to Las Vegas in 2020. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he would like the Raiders to make a decision on their location by early February, which means they're running out of time.
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