Perhaps there's room for a cowboy hat on the vintage Raiders logo.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, upset with the stadium situation, met with San Antonio officials about possibly relocating his team, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday. The Express-News said Davis met with former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros, then-mayor Julián Castro, city manager Sheryl Sculley, Mario Hernandez of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and Richard Perez and David McGee, the president and chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, respectively, on the weekend of July 18.
The meeting was confirmed when Sculley issued a memo to the city council after the Express-News story broke, describing it as "preliminary due diligence" after Davis expressed interest in a "possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio."
It's fair to wonder if this is a bluff by Davis, a move to put some heat on Oakland officials to get a new stadium. But it's worth noting that the meeting happened about a week-and-a-half ago, and the story was leaked to a San Antonio newspaper. If the Raiders were really just engaging in a public staredown, using San Antonio as a bargaining chip, part of that process is actually making the meeting public. Unless the Raiders decided to leak it to a media outlet in Texas first, they were very quiet on the situation.
Logically, it would make no sense to keep a bluff like this a secret. The Raiders put out a statement on the matter after the Express-News story came out:
1 of 3 - Raiders Owner Mark Davis, "I was in San Antonio to honor Cliff Branch on his induction into the PVILCA..."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2014
2 of 3 Mark Davis cont'd, Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with..."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2014
3 of 3 Mark Davis, "...with some of the city officials while we were in town. I have nothing further to discuss on the topic."— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 29, 2014
One can interpret a statement like that in many ways, but it's at least worth noting that nowhere in the statement did Davis deny that relocation was discussed. In fact, the lack of a denial is kind of conspicuous by its absense, as is the way Davis' statement seems to dance around the subject. And unless Sculley was really fooled, based on her memo, it clearly was a topic of conversation.
San Antonio could house an NFL team. The Alamodome is there, and it is the home of the University of Texas at San Antonio's football team. It also has hosted NFL preseason games in the past, and the Alamo Bowl. It would need some renovations, or the Raiders will need a new stadium there, but it's not like the Raiders would need a stadium to be built to move there. There are plenty of hurdles to cross even if the Raiders decided to move, to San Antonio or anywhere else, but it's hard to dismiss this news as insigificant.
Oakland's lease is up at the worn out O.co Coliseum after this season. The Raiders want a new stadium. The meeting in San Antonio could be a sign that officials in Oakland are running out of time to get it done and keep the Raiders.
- - - - - - -