The city of San Francisco does not have an NFL team playing within its city limits, with 49ers home games being played at the Santa Clara-based Levi’s Stadium.
It’s possible that may change in 2019. The Raiders have engaged in discussions with the San Francisco Giants about playing their home games next season at AT&T Park.
“There has been initial interest expressed in exploring the opportunity of the Raiders playing at AT&T Park … many details would need to be figured out,” the MLB team said in a statement. “The Giants want to do what’s best for Bay Area fans and would be open to the concept just as we hosted Cal Football in 2011 when Memorial Stadium in Berkeley was being renovate.”
With Oakland suing the Raiders, the franchise’s 2019 home is much less certain than it once was. The team’s Las Vegas domed stadium is not scheduled to be ready until 2020, and this suit may scuttle the Raiders’ intentions of playing one more season in Oakland.
A few cities have reached out to the team, Raiders president Marc Badain said (via Vince Sapienza of Fox 5, on Twitter), adding the Raiders intend to speak to a few sites about a solution they hope doesn’t disrupt the team much. Mark Davis said all options remain open.
Davis and Giants CEO Larry Baer were part of discussions for San Francisco to host the 2024 Olympics years back, per ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez. While AT&T Park has been mentioned previously, Gutierrez notes other cities — Reno, Nev., Glendale, Ariz., San Diego and a temporary partnership with the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium — remain in play. Oakland also remains an option, in the event a deal can still be brokered. Portland and Seattle have also been mentioned as stopgap solutions, but the NFL appears to view the best solution being the Raiders staying in the Bay Area.
A possible stumbling block to the Raiders playing at the National League stadium is the 49ers having territorial rights to San Francisco. The 49ers would need to consent to the Raiders playing at AT&T Park, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 49ers have previously expressed that they would be open to the Raiders sharing their Santa Clara stadium but have not addressed a possible scenario where the Raiders play in San Francisco. Davis has not shown much enthusiasm for sharing a stadium with the 49ers.
AT&T Park, which can hold 45,000 fans in an expanded football capacity, is a much closer trek from Oakland compared to Levi’s Stadium. In addition to housing the Cal Golden Bears in 2011, the MLB venue was home for the XFL’s San Francisco Demons in 2001. A bowl game (an event now known as the Redbox Bowl) was also played there from 2002-13. Interestingly, the bowl games and Cal’s home contests in 2011 featured both teams standing on the same sideline, Gutierrez points out.