Last weekend the owner of the Oakland Raiders met with San Antonio city leaders to discuss the possible relocation of the storied NFL franchise from Northern California to the Alamo City.
Mark Davis, the Raiders owner and the son of the late Al Davis who once said “we would rather be feared than respected,” is putting fear in the hearts of Bay Area Raiders diehards. According to mySA, City Manager Sheryl Sculley said San Antonio began talks with Davis and he “has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence.”
This would not be the first time the iconic team moved from Oakland. In 1982 the Raiders moved to Los Angeles and made the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum their home for twelve seasons. As fate would have it, the Northridge earthquake struck Southern California in 1994 causing significant damage to the Coliseum prompting the Raiders to move back to Oakland.
Essentially, the Coliseum was unable to work out acceptable renovations to Al Davis’s liking and his bid for other venues like Irwindale didn’t pan out. Consequently, a 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas eve 1994 was the last game for the Raiders in Los Angeles and, for that matter, the last NFL regular season game to be played in Los Angeles.
Frequently, San Antonio has been named as a potential home for other sports franchises, but has ultimately been passed over. Notwithstanding, it did become the temporary home for the New Orleans Saints when Hurricane Katrina displaced the team for much of the pre-season and through their first three home games of the 2005 NFL season. Needless to say the NBA Champion Spurs have demonstrated that the city can bring good fortune to a professional team.
In view that the the team’s lease will end at O.Co Coliseum after the 2014-2015 season, the Alamodome would suffice for the time being. Within a few years, however, a new stadium would need to be built to keep the Raiders happy, reports mySA.
Davis is confident that the team would be successful in South Texas even though San Antonio ranks only 36th in the country’s top television markets. The huge Hispanic fan base could compensate given the team’s popularity with that community.