Raiders owner Mark Davis, along with two of his top lieutenants, recently traveled to San Antonio to meet with city officials and discuss the possibility of moving the franchise, according to Josh Baugh and Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. Davis reportedly met with several city leaders earlier this month, including then-mayor Julián Castro.
While Raiders fans in Oakland probably shouldn’t hit the panic button quite yet, Baugh and Orsborn say that their sources characterized Davis’ interest in San Antonio as “at least somewhat more serious” than usual, given how often the city is used as a bargaining chip for franchises in need of leverage. Davis and his associates are said to have spent multiple days in the city, checking out the Alamodome and other locations.
There has been speculation for some time that Davis would explore the possibility of relocating the Raiders to another city, if only to put more pressure on the city of Oakland to assist the team in building a new stadium. The club currently shares O.co Coliseum with MLB’s Athletics, who appear to be on the verge of finalizing a long-term lease with the stadium. While that agreement wouldn’t necessarily compromise the Raiders’ future in Oakland, it could reduce their options for a new stadium of their own.
According to Baugh and Orsborn, while Davis was in San Antonio, the Raiders owner also had separate discussions with San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt and Red McCombs, who both displayed interest in buying a stake in the Raiders if they were to move to Texas. Again though, those talks appear to be in the very exploratory stages, and may simply represent an effort to increase the Raiders’ leverage in talks with Oakland. I’d guess Davis will consider looking into a few other cities besides San Antonio in the near future for that same reason.