Building a new, football-only stadium in the East Bay has proven troublesome for owner Mark Davis and his Raiders. He has struggled to find a long-term solution that would keep his team in Oakland, and has recently partnered up with the San Diego Chargers on a stadium proposal that would put both teams in the Los Angeles market.
All this L.A. talk has put Davis’ very public flirtation with San Antonio on the back burner. It seems like a backup plan following efforts to stay in Oakland or return to Southern California.
Those prospects have hurdles. San Antonio, by comparison, does not.
San Antonio-based billionaire Red McCombs says the Alamo City would welcome the Raiders with open arms.
“What we’re doing in San Antonio is completely open,” McCombs said on Monday in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Nothing is covert in any kind of way. We feel like San Antonio is not only ready for the NFL, it’s way past ready.
“We have a package put together and we’ve had conversations with Mark Davis and the president of the club (Marc Badain) and they’re all aware of this. What their decisions are going to be and what the league’s decision for them is going to be, we don’t know. All we can do is to show them and the NFL that we’ve got what it takes to make this thing happen.”
McCombs knows a thing of two about pro sports. He has has ownership stakes in the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. He was also part of the committee charged with attempting to bring the Raiders to the Lone Star State.
Davis toured San Antonio last summer, and has a strong connection with former mayor Henry Cisneros. Cisneros and Davis are long-time friends.
Davis’ stated preference is to keep the Raiders in Oakland, though Los Angeles has become a strong Plan B. A Raiders/Chargers stadium proposal in Carson has been fast-tracked, though it’s in competition with the St. Louis Rams’ plan to build a football facility in Inglewood. Recent reports indicated that plans to build an Oakland stadium are on life support.
San Antonio, however, seems ready to become an NFL city and help build a new stadium. How interested Davis is in such a plan remains in question.
“We’re familiar with what’s going on,” McCombs said. “The issue there is that Mark, who has been my guest in San Antonio, he knows that we can perform. We can have the package ready to go overnight. He still wants to find a way to stay in California. I like him a lot personally and, if he can work things out over there then fine. If he doesn’t, I would just say that we have a package that would fit his team. Where he goes from there, I don’t know.”