At this time of year, every NFL team not in the playoffs should be focused on one thing—figuring out what they must do to make it to the playoffs next season. But that is not the case for the Oakland Raiders. Not only do they have to figure out what to do to become a playoff-caliber team, but they have to figure out where they are going to play.
So far, it sounds like they may be calling the San Francisco 49ers home, Levi Stadium, their new home.
Wait—aren’t they supposed to be staying in Oakland until they move to Las Vegas in 2020?
According to several media reports, that was the plan. But due to a clause in the agreement the Raiders had with the city, the team could break the agreement if the city filed an anti-trust suit against the team and league—which the city has done.
So, now the Raiders are in need of a new place to call home for the next season. Plenty of sites have been discussed as potential options. Moving to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego was considered as a possibility earlier this year. But it never garnered much support from the owners or league.
UNLV’s stadium in Reno has also been explored as an option and dismissed.
“We shouldn’t be undercutting the negotiating position of our friends across the Bay, by providing an easy out to the Raiders, who are retaliating against Oakland with this attempted move for 2019 simply because Oakland filed a law…https://t.co/svQgIr7cbj https://t.co/EhQm7IBzos
— CJax (@jaxatak) January 4, 2019
Chances are good the team will remain in the Bay Area, but exactly where they will play remains undecided.
Moving in with the San Francisco 49ers would be the option the league would prefer. But an icy relationship between the front offices of the two teams makes such an arrangement unlikely. According to what a source told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“The Raiders don’t want to play at Levi’s, but from the league’s standpoint, this really would be a layup. All of the infrastructure is already there. It would be the cheapest and the easiest.”
Several college stadiums could be options (San Jose State, Cal Berkley, Stanford). But size and logistical issues make each a lackluster choice. London has even been brought up, but all the problems such a move would cause, and the cost makes it an extreme long shot.
Unless the Raiders and City of Oakland can patch things up, the most viable option may be using the home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park. It has hosted football games in the past, but the MLB schedule in August and October could prove to be problematic.