Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has held talks with San Antonio officials to move the NFL American football franchise to the city, according to multiple reports.
The San Antonio Express-News said that on the weekend of July 18, Davis and Raiders executives met with city leaders including then-Mayor Julián Castro, the city manager and the president and chairman of the chamber of commerce.
The newspaper added that San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley issued a memo to the city council with specifics about the talks following the visit. Sculley said: “I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence. The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.”
Davis has confirmed that he was indeed in San Antonio, but did not comment on possible relocation talks. “I was in San Antonio to honour (former Raider) Cliff Branch on his induction into (a local hall of fame),” Davis said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some of the city officials while we were in town.”
Talk of a move to San Antonio is the latest development in reports over the Raiders’ future in Oakland. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month raised the prospect of the Raiders sharing the new home of the San Francisco 49ers as a means to end their stadium frustrations.
The Raiders are in dispute with MLB baseball team the Oakland Athletics over the future of the Coliseum – the stadium that the two teams share. The Coliseum is the only stadium in the US that doubles up as a venue for an MLB and NFL team. The Raiders are in the final season of their lease at the Coliseum and are interested in building a new stadium at the site.
Responding to the San Antonio reports, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said she’s not concerned over talk of the team relocating. Quan said “professional sports teams always have secondary plans” when they look ahead to the future, according to the San Jose Mercury News.