Raiders owner Mark Davis: 'I'm not frustrated' with 2019 stadium struggles

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Raiders owner Mark Davis said he’s not frustrated with the franchise’s struggles in locking down a temporary home for next season. (AP/Jeff Chiu)
Raiders owner Mark Davis said he’s not frustrated with the franchise’s struggles in locking down a temporary home for next season. (AP/Jeff Chiu)

The Oakland Raiders still don’t have a place to play next season.

Ever since the team announced it would not be playing at the Coliseum in Oakland in 2019 — which has housed the team for 40 years — the franchise has been looking for a home. The Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas won’t be ready until the 2020 season, leaving them temporarily homeless.

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Multiple plans have been shot down in recent weeks, too, only adding to the uncertainty.

Yet even with the question of where they will play next season unanswered, Raiders owner Mark Davis said this week that he’s not worried about it.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he’s confident the issue will be resolved this month.

“I’m not frustrated,” Davis told the Review-Journal on Wednesday. “I’ve said from the beginning, my biggest concern is our fans, and it’s my hope and preference to remain in the Bay Area (in 2019) for them. The fans have always been first in my heart. We do have other options, but the hope is to remain in the Bay Area next season until we move to Las Vegas in 2020, which I remain very excited about.”

Where will the Raiders play next season?

Reports surfaced this week that the Raiders planned to play next season at Oracle Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants. That plan was shut down on Wednesday, though, after it drew criticism from San Francisco mayor London Breed and the 49ers refused to waive their territorial rights. 

Now, the Raiders are likely left with either playing back at the Coliseum in Oakland next year or sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers.

The Raiders already withdrew from a tentative lease to play their final season in Oakland at the Coliseum in December, after the city filed a lawsuit against the league. Per the report, however, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority’s original $7.5 million rent offer is still available.

Reports surfaced last year that the Raiders could end up spending next season in London, too. While that plan would probably be against the team’s interests, given how far London is from the Bay Area, the NFL has long desired to have a team there. Having the Raiders play in London next year would provide the league with the perfect opportunity to test out how that would work longterm.

Even though there has been lots of speculation swirling around where they will play next season, Davis said neither deal — the team playing at Oracle Park or in London — was ever made by him or the team.

Still, he said he hopes to have this resolved sooner rather than later — certainly before it could become a league-wide scheduling issue.

“The thing is, we haven’t been the ones talking at all,” Davis told the Review-Journal. “Others have been talking for us and in some cases against us. I know the (league) would like this decided within a few weeks, and we certainly don’t want to be the ones that would cause a delay in scheduling.”

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