In the news plenty this week for their flirtations with other cities, the Raiders haven’t engaged in any formal talks with Oakland about a new stadium, Matthew Artz of the Bay Area News Group reports.
Although the Raiders have discussed another one-year lease to play in their current home, O.co Coliseum, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed no negotiations on a long-term playing site have occurred since relocation meetings took place Jan. 12 in Houston.
“I recognize that the Raiders have a powerful brand and that they will always have options outside of Oakland,” Schaaf said. “And, I remain committed to proving to them that Oakland has the most to offer them.”
The Raiders have been since connected to San Antonio, San Diego and, most recently, Las Vegas in their desperate attempt to leave Oakland and secure a new stadium. But Los Angeles will still be their most likely landing spot if the Chargers reach a deal with San Diego on a stadium agreement. They remain second in line to share the Inglewood stadium with the Rams if the Chargers end up succeeding on their leverage move in San Diego.
Any Chargers deal for a publicly aided new stadium will likely need to be finalized by this summer, Artz writes, in order to get the initiative on the November ballot. If not, the Raiders’ Los Angeles path clears.
“If the alternative is no deal in Oakland … or going to this fabulous new facility and not having to put any equity into it, it would be very hard for a reasonable businessman to turn that down,” stadium consultant Marc Ganis told Artz.
Here is the latest news on the Raiders and some of the other Western-division franchises.
- In a memo sent to all 32 teams, the league notifies franchises that they shouldn’t assume the Raiders will be barred from moving to Las Vegas and no such restrictions exist on teams moving to a particular city, Vincent Bonsignore of InsideSoCal.com reports. Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk notes such a move would be extremely unlikely to receive the 24 required votes from fellow owners.
- In a long profile of top Chargers counsel Mark Fabiani, who will presumably be involved along with Dean Spanos when the two sides resume negotiations, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Peter Rowe hears the Chargers were disinterested about the new stadium site when the sides last talked. This, of course, was before the owners designated Stan Kroenke‘s Inglewood site as Los Angeles’ new football epicenter. “[Fabiani] told us the Chargers were agnostic when it came to the stadium’s new location — it really didn’t matter to them. He told us to settle on a site, spend your time analyzing these two sites and then come up with a financial plan. That’s what we did,” said Tony Manolatos, spokesman for San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s stadium task force, “and then he was criticizing us every step of the way.” Prior to the owners’ decision, this stance, county supervisor Ron Roberts told Rowe, was designed to make it look like the Chargers were “unloved” in San Diego.
- Spanos overplayed his hand in his all-out pursuit of Los Angeles, Nick Canepa of the Union-Tribune writes. With talks set to likely increase between the Chargers and San Diego after being dormant for months, Canepa writes the city’s business power structure need to put their weight toward making the team’s preferred downtown stadium happen.
- When Mike Shanahan left his post as the then-Super Bowl champion 49ers OC in early 1995 to become the Broncos’ head coach, the 49ers wanted to give their OC job to then-33-year-old Gary Kubiak, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Kubiak instead accepted the same position with Shanahan in Denver and held that job for 11 seasons, which eventually led to his return in 2015.
- Officially questionable, Broncos safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart each vowed to play in Super Bowl 50. While Ward’s ankle injury isn’t expected to keep him out, Stewart may have a harder time playing effectively. The first-year Broncos safety’s sprained MCL’s made it difficult thus far for lateral movement, with the former Ravens back-line bastion being able to only run in a straight line in his week off from practice, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Stewart told media, including Pat Graham of the Associated Press, “Without a doubt in my mind, I’m playing.”