HOUSTON – The Raiders will not play in Los Angeles next season. Owner Mark Davis says there’s no guarantee they’ll return to Oakland, either.
The Silver and Black withdrew their relocation application on Tuesday night, helping facilitate a resolution that put the Rams back in L.A. and gave the Chargers an option to follow them there.
[BAIR: Raiders denied LA relocation]
The Raiders could jump in a year or more later if the Bolts don’t. Next year, at least, logic suggests the Raiders will play in the East Bay, prompting this dialogue between Davis and a reporter.
Reporter: “Lots of Raiders fans will be happy you’re staying.”
Reporter: “In Oakland”
Davis: “Are we?”
“I don’t know where we’ll be,” Davis said. “We don’t have a lease right now at the Oakland Coliseum. Our lease has expired.”
That’s mostly true. The team’s one-year lease extension is up next month. The stadium's joint-powers authority would happily offer another one while the Raiders remain free agents.
While it seems highly likely the Raiders play anywhere but the Bay Area – notice I didn’t say Oakland exclusively, though odds are O.co Coliseum is the destination – Davis confirmed what league sources have been telling CSNCalifornia for a few days, that the Raiders will explore other relocation options.
Where will the Raiders play next year?
“America,” Davis said. “The world is a possibility for the Raider Nation.”
Davis shot down the possibility of replacing the Rams in St. Louis. Other than that, he seems open to ideas.
[RELATED: Davis' perfect solution goes awry]
San Diego was mentioned in connection with the Raiders during conversations at these owners meetings, but they technically still have the Chargers. Davis wouldn’t discuss that option further, or a previous flirtation in San Antonio or “any other ifs, ands or buts.”
Davis is frustrated with the progress made in discussions with the city of Oakland.
At no point during these meetings did Davis say he preferred to stay in town. The Raiders didn’t mention Oakland in a statement about the failure of the Raiders and Chargers joint stadium proposal in Carson that prevented relocation to the L.A. market.
“I don’t know what word to use about (Oakland talks),” Davis said. “Let’s just get to reality. They haven’t (come through) yet.”
Without reaching formal negotiations, there is already a large sticking point. The Raiders want more free land on the O.co Coliseum site than the city is willing to give. Without that, the Raiders contend, everything else is made difficult.
“It’s going to take land,” Davis said. “We haven’t been talking about money, we’ve been talking about land.”
Davis didn’t have a specific message for Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf about returning to negotiations in the East Bay.
"She knows what it’s going to take to get something done,” Davis said.
Schaaf released a statement on late Tuesday night about not losing the Raiders to Southern California.
“We are pleased to have additional time to work with the Raiders and the NFL to build a new home for the team in Oakland,” Schaaf’s statement said. “We recognize that the Raiders have been understandably frustrated over the years, so we are excited to have this chance to rededicate ourselves to getting a deal done in Oakland that works for the team, the NFL, our fans and our taxpayers.
“We remain confident that the Raiders can build a new stadium in Oakland without a direct public subsidy. We stand ready to work with the Raiders and the NFL to responsibly make that happen.”