Contrary to a report that the Raiders’ hopes of relocating to Las Vegas are “all but dead,” multiple sources have told Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News that the plan is “absolutely salvageable.” Bosnignore adds that Las Vegas-based businessman Sheldon Adelson, who on Monday backed out of putting $650MM toward a new stadium for the Raiders, will attend the Super Bowl in Houston on Sunday. There’s no word as to whether he’ll meet with Raiders owner Mark Davis and restart negotiations, however (Twitter link).
The loss of potential financial support from both Adelson and Goldman Sachs has led to optimism that the Raiders could end up staying in Oakland, but Davis still doesn’t seem eager to keep the franchise there. In fact, the Raiders haven’t even contacted Oakland officials since Adelson bailed, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Three sources indicated to Cole that the Vegas dream is indeed “dead,” though, which conflicts with what Bonsignore has heard. If it is off the table and the Raiders aren’t open to remaining in Oakland, Cole names San Antonio – a city with which the Raiders have had past flirtations – as a possible destination.
Having lost the Chargers to LA last month, the city of San Diego has also come up as a suitor for the Raiders. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has already contacted the league to let it know of San Diego’s interest, and Don Banks of SI.com and NFL.com reports that the Raiders could head there and play in the Chargers’ longtime home, Qualcomm Stadium.
While the Chargers were unwilling to continue in the 50-year-old facility, the notion of it undergoing a significant facelift and then housing the Raiders “will gain support in league circles,” writes Banks. Should that come to fruition, the NFL would regain the San Diego market, which it didn’t want to lose in the first place; further, the Raiders would land a stadium upgrade over the Oakland Coliseum, notes Banks, who adds that the league wouldn’t be opposed to having three Southern California-based franchises.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.