Raiders in Los Angeles? It’s Possible, with New Coalition at Work
2 Dec, 2015By: Tracey Schelmetic
With the Oakland Raiders needing a new home thanks to the expiration of the team's lease at the end of 2015, a number of cities have come forward with proposals.
Several years ago, there were talks about the Raiders sharing Santa Clara’s Levi's Stadium with the San Francisco 49ers, an event that didn’t happen. There was an ambitious plan announced to build The Raiders a new stadium in Oakland, a plan which ultimately fizzled. In 2014, officials from the city of San Antonio, Texas met to discuss the possibility of relocating the Raiders to San Antonio. There have been talks about The Raiders, together with the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams, returning to Los Angeles and its proposed new $1.2 billion privately funded stadium in downtown Los Angeles. To this end, in February of this year, the Raiders and the Chargers announced they were considering building a privately-financed $1.78 billion stadium in Carson, California.
While San Antonio remains hopeful, a new development makes it more likely that The Raiders will wind up in the Los Angeles area. Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger recently threw his considerable influence into moving forward the proposed stadium project in Carson, California, and it’s believed that this may ultimately cause NFL officials to decide to choose LA for The Raiders.
“Should the owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans," Iger said in a statement. "LA football fans will enjoy unprecedented access to games during the season, in a state of the art stadium designed to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and enjoyable experience possible."
Should the NFL ultimately choose Los Angeles, which has been without an NFL team for 20 years, then Iger would help oversee the design and construction of the stadium and help guide marketing and branding of the new facility.
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the Chargers and Raiders have proposed a separate shared stadium plan in Carson as one relocation option for both teams. In early November, Carson Holdings, the joint venture that would develop the LA-area stadium, named Iger its nonexecutive chairman. San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, who was heavily involved in the plan to attract The Raiders to South Texas, told the newspaper that Iger’s involvement with the proposed Carson plan will have “great weight” with the NFL, but that it’s not yet a done deal.
“We remain hopeful. We are convinced that we are the best location for any team that wants to move,” San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Perez told the San Antonio Business Journal. “The people want a team. We have a facility, and our market is growing.”
The NFL has yet to make a final decision, and says it may be April before it decides the futures of the Raiders, Rams and Chargers. Representatives from the cities of Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis recently traveled to New York to present their cases with NFL officials about why they should keep their respective teams.