HOUSTON – The Raiders entered Tuesday’s NFL owners meeting confident and ready to fight for approval to relocate from Oakland. The team’s partnership with the San Diego Chargers on a stadium proposal in Carson was ultimately rejected in favor of an Inglewood stadium proposal fronted by the St. Louis Rams.
That prompted owner Mark Davis to withdraw his application to relocate to the Los Angeles market, an action leading to a resolution that moves the Rams back to L.A. The Chargers have an option to join the Rams in Inglewood as early as next season, an option earned after legally dissolving their partnership with the Raiders.
The Raiders could end up in L.A. if the Chargers don’t exercise theirs, but the Silver and Black got the short end of the stick.
“We’re third on the list,” Davis said. “If the Chargers don’t accept an option to be (L.A.’s) second team, that option goes to the Raiders. In the meantime, we’re going to look for a home.”
The Raiders aren’t sure where that home will be. They’ve had significant issues making progress to remain in Oakland, but finishing last in the L.A. race could’ve helped.
Bowing out was expected to produce a windfall, a worthy consolation prize to take home from these Houston meetings. The Raiders got something, not nearly as much as they expected or wanted.
As part of the relocation resolution, the NFL will provide $100 million in additional funds to build a stadium only in their current home market. That’s a sum on top of the $200 million loan afforded as part of the G4 loan program that helps teams build stadiums.
There’s a caveat. The Raiders only get that money for a Bay Area stadium, and only get the money if a stadium agreement is reached by this time next year.
A source indicated the Raiders hoped to get their relocation fee waived should they head to a different market – Davis will explore other options – but that was not part of the resolution.
On top of all that, the Chargers got the exact same deal. They can get extra money to stick in San Diego, which is unlikely.
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The extra $100 million won’t complete the funding void with an Oakland stadium. The city won’t commit public dollars to stadium construction. The Raiders can commit roughly $500 million (before the new money), leaving more work to do.
“I don’t believe that’s going to fill the gap we have right now, but $100 million obviously helps,” Davis said.
Public officials hope to use the extra funds well.
"Anything they give you is better than nothing," Scott McKibben, executive director of the board that runs the Coliseum, told the Associated Press. "We're obviously grateful and appreciative of their efforts. We'll see how that all looks when take a look at the specific numbers. We'll go back and reload the gun and see where things fall out and take it from there."
The Raiders didn’t leave empty-handed, but didn’t leave with the Carson approval they wanted. Davis will continue his search for a long-term solution in Oakland or another market.
“This is not a win for the Raiders today,” Davis said. “…We’ll see where the Raider Nation ends up here. We’ll be working really hard to find us a home and that’s what we’re looking forward to. For our fans, don’t feel bad. We’ll get it right.”