The Raiders held a press conference to announce Reggie McKenzie as the Raiders’ next general manager. Managing general partner, Mark Davis, took the opportunity to send the message that the Raiders are very open to a move back to Los Angeles.
During the press conference itself, Davis was asked about plans for a new stadium and he hinted that he may be tied to the Raiders but the Raiders are not tied to Oakland.
“There’s no intention to sell this team,” said Davis. “This is my life. It’s been my life for, well, I’ve been with the Raiders for 48 years. And my whole thing is to continue the legacy that my father built here and I’ve got one of the largest extended families in the world. And that’s what all these former players and everybody else that’s been in this organization, and they mean a lot to me and this organization represents them as well as they represent us and that’s where it’s gonna stay.
“I’ve been working on other stadium situations for about a year and a half. We’re trying to get something done up here, but if we can’t we’ve gotta get something done somewhere because we need to be able to compete. And that’s where it’s at.”
After the press conference, he reiterated his stance on the location of the team and the factors that either keep them in Oakland or force them to leave.
“I’ve been looking at certain places up here in Northern California but I’ve also been talking to people in Southern California, that have talked to me.”
He also emphasized that staying in Northern California is not his first priority, saying instead: “It’s important to get a new stadium. That’s really important. I mean, it’s such a competitive business. It really is competitive. We can’t compete for a lot of the players that other teams can, at times.
“Yeah, Los Angeles is a possibility… The timetable is yesterday. So that’s where it is. We’ve got to get a stadium. We’ve got to get that done.”
Davis went so far as to say, “There’s offers on the table,” but said that the current offers are not quite what the Raiders have been looking for.
He finished by suggesting that the Raiders could very well have left already if a good offer had come along, saying; “If there was an offer that we liked, we would’ve taken it.”
You can take the fact that Davis has not yet received an offer he likes. But remember, Farmers Field is already slated to be built in Los Angeles, regardless of a team in place to play in it. This gives Davis and the Raiders a few years to think about whether they want to be that team. And that news wouldn’t come out until the moving trucks were already packed.
I do think that Davis would like to keep the team in Oakland. But he needs to send the message loud and clear to the city of Oakland that there will be nothing sentimental involved here. It is purely business, and if there is no new stadium for the Raiders in Northern California, they will seek a home elsewhere.
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