In the third and final and of three NFL town hall meetings held this week to consider football teams seeking relocation to the Los Angeles market, Raiders owner Mark Davis surprised costume-clad fans and concerned Oakland area residents by confirming his commitment to keeping the team in their city.
Thursday night’s meeting brought some 400 people out to voice their questions and concerns over a potential Raiders return to L.A.
When the crowd questioned Davis on his commitment to keeping Raiders football in Oakland, Davis responded, “We need help from the community as well to get something that our fans in Oakland can be proud of,” CBS San Francisco reported.
“We don’t have that right now and we want it. It can be done in Oakland. We’ve talked to three mega developers to get this going. We have been trying for at least the past six years, every day, hundreds of hours, to ty to get something done here in Oakland.”
Four of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s executive staff addressed the crowd at each of the three meetings this week–Tuesday in St. Louis, Wednesday in San Diego and Thursday in Oakland. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf also made an appearance at the Thursday meeting.
The Raiders are the only NFL team sharing a stadium with a baseball team, the Oakland Athletics. Their aging and dilapidated venue, the Oakland Coliseum, was erected back in 1966.
Two stadiums have been proposed for L.A., one in Inglewood at $1.86 billion for the Rams and one $1.7 billion dollar joint-use Raiders-Chargers facility in Carson. Speculators have suggested that a third option may be possible–namely, having the Chargers join the Rams at the proposed Inglewood stadium.
On Tuesday night, concern and anger marked the sentiment of Rams fans in St. Louis. The Raiders left L.A. the same year as the Rams in 1994.
Breitbart News reported from San Diego Wednesday night as enthusiastic and hopeful fans lobbied for keeping the Chargers in town. At the same meeting, a couple of Los Angeles residents, including the leader of a group called “Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams,” showed up to lobby for leaving the Chargers in San Diego and returning the Rams to L.A. They voiced a desire to see an NFL meeting in L.A. to listen to locals’ views on which team they would like to see returned to their city.
The Rams, Chargers and Raiders could be making their bids for relocation as soon as January, and the NFL could make a decision shortly thereafter ,with a vote from the 32 team owners determining who could make that move.
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