The City of San Francisco has spoken — no chance the Raiders will play their 2019 season at Oracle Park, home of the SF Giants. With options dwindling and unconfirmed rumors from online conspiracy theorists have the Raiders allegedly “begging” the city to let them come back and play at O*kland-Alameda County Coliseum, it’s time the Raiders and owner Mark Davis cut their toxic ties with the Bay Area for good and move to San Diego for the team’s final season ahead of its official Vegas move in 2020.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants an answer ASAP so scheduling can be officially finalized for the league meaning Davis needs to decide on one of the options very soon. The City of O*kland is also still suing the team and the league for leaving. While Sam Boyd Stadium is thought of as a potential destination for locals here in Vegas, it’s just simply not NFL-ready and would cost more money to renovate than a year-long rental elsewhere would.
Besides, Davis doesn’t want to limp into his Vegas debut. He wants to come out hitting on all cylinders in 2020. While he has tried to keep the team near the Bay Area, Davis keeps getting rebuffed at every turn by the politicians and regional NFL owners.
“I stand by what I’ve said in the past,” Davis told the The Mercury News. “I’ve been absolutely consistent. I want to stay in the Bay Area, but we’re looking at all options. I haven’t changed my mind.”
Hopefully, this heavy-handed flack Davis has been hit with the last few weeks has changed his mind for good. The 49ers refused to waive territorial rights to the Raiders and the City of O*kland reportedly elevated its “rental costs” for its dump of a stadium exponentially. The Bay Area doesn’t seem to want the Raiders and, if the unconfirmed reports of the new offer the City of O*kland is offered are true, he should tell the Bay Area to shove its widest bridge up its tightest orifice and walk away permanently.
Make SDCCU Stadium the temporary home of the Raiders
What a perfect a location to integrate the new fan base in Vegas than San Diego, a neighboring city just hours from its next long-term stop. If you live in Vegas, you know how easy it is to get to San Diego on a Saturday morning and back on a Sunday night or Monday morning. The terrible traffic flows back to California at the end of each weekend, opposite of fans returning home from a weekend Raider Nation reunion on the beaches of San Diego.
The odds don’t seem to be great, according to Bovada.
Formerly Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, this old beast of a stadium is a perfect fit for the Raiders in 2019. It’s a five-hour (or less, if you use Waze properly) drive from Las Vegas while providing an ideal travel destination for fans.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to head to San Diego for a weekend to hit Pacific Beach, Gaslamp, or even Coronado Island on Saturday before painting up, throwing the spiked shoulder pads and heading to SDCCU Stadium on the San Diego trolley? Thought so. This is the perfect location to ease the Raider Nation into the Vegas scene while appealing to the new Vegas fan base. Shift south but stay in California for 2019, then shift a little northeast to Vegas in 2020. There is no better match for the Silver & Black.
Of course, Mark Davis could leverage the City of O*kland into dropping its lawsuit and the Raiders could peaceably return to the Coliseum for one final farewell in 2019.
Why not? Davis has already leveraged and defeated Sheldon Adelson, one of the most powerful men in the world, why wouldn’t he be able to bully the City Council into dropping the suit and giving Raiders fans (their constituents) proper closure on the team’s move to Las Vegas? Maybe, just maybe, Davis can work some of his magic and make 2019 a season of progress and nostalgia as the Raiders say a definitive goodbye to the Bay Area and its old, decrepit home in the Coliseum.
If not, Davis should go ahead and make the deal in San Diego, kick the dust from his sandals and enjoy the best Sports Clips and P.F. Changs San Diego has to offer for the next 10 months.