The lawsuit the city of Oakland filed against the Raiders on Tuesday may chase the Raiders out of town a year before they planned.
A high-ranking team official said, via Jason Cole of FanSided (Twitter link), there is “no way” the Raiders will play the 2019 season in Oakland after the lawsuit.
No lease exists for the Raiders to play at Oakland Coliseum next season, and although Mark Davis wanted the team to remain in Oakland for one more season before its 2020 Las Vegas move, the Raiders now appear to be also considering alternatives.
Five or six cities will be considered, per Cole, who adds some of those markets already have NFL teams. The Raiders have been linked to San Diego, San Antonio and Reno thus far. Interestingly, one place they will not consider playing 2019 is Las Vegas. Once believed to be holding UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium as an emergency stopgap option, the Raiders will not play there next season because the site is “not workable,” Cole tweets.
Further complicating matters, Cole adds (via Twitter) the Raiders will not share a stadium with the 49ers and are unlikely to play anywhere in northern California in ’19. It’s unknown what the other markets would be, but ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez reported Reno, Nev., may be an option (Twitter link). The team is considering making the northern Nevada city its future training camp site.
As for where the Raiders may play next, Cole tweets a few previously unmentioned contenders will be Portland, St. Louis, Seattle and Phoenix. Some of this depends on if the Raiders opt to keep their facility in Oakland and travel to games, but Cole adds (via Twitter) a strong chance now exists the team packs up after this season and moves to its temporary city.
The 49ers showed interest in taking the Raiders in while they await their Vegas dome’s construction, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (on Twitter), but Davis did not seriously entertain that possibility.