I was hoping against hope that the next piece I wrote about the future of the Oakland Raiders would have more finality to it. After months of bickering, rumors and smokescreens, and fans and local governments getting torn apart by multimillion dollar corporations, it seemed like the horribly bungled Los Angeles relocation circus was finally over. Equally tired of the process, the owners converged on Houston to get a vote done.
And vote they did. The problem is, their vote was to keep the Raiders and Chargers fans in purgatory for another year.
The St. Louis Rams are no more after owner Stan Kroenke was given permission to build his Inglewood stadium and move the team. The Chargers were given the option to join them, but they have to choose within one year. If they opt not to go to Inglewood to join the Rams, the Raiders will be given the option to do so.
Dean Spanos, the owner of the Chargers, has been very vocal about the fact that he does not want to share a stadium with Kroenke, the second-richest owner in the league. This is not entirely surprising since Kroenke got his way by basically threatening to sue the NFL and drown them in the courts if he didn’t. As such, Kroenke isn’t exactly one of the more popular owners at the moment. Plus there’s the fact that, unlike in Carson where Spanos would have been a co-owner, he would be nothing more than a tenant of Kroenke’s in Inglewood.
With reports that the Chargers are not likely to play in Los Angeles in 2016, the Raiders likely won’t know their future anytime soon because as long as there’s a chance for L.A., things won’t be resolved for the Raiders.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for Raiders fans, owner Mark Davis would not commit to the team playing the 2016 season in Oakland. In fact, he refused to even say the word “Oakland” in any of his comments to the press. So where will they play next year?
“America,” Davis said. “The world is a possibility for the Raider Nation.”
Instead of finally getting answers, “Raiders Nation” has been presented with a whole new set of questions hanging over their heads. Will the Chargers choose to move to Inglewood? If not, is Mark Davis willing to be Kroenke’s tenant when he wasn’t willing to be a tenant of Jed York in Santa Clara? Will the Raiders play next season in Oakland? Are the Raiders even willing to discuss further options with Oakland officials? Is San Antonio really an option? What about San Diego?
And, of course, the all-important question: Did Mark Davis take Southwest to the owners meetings while everyone else took their private jets?
For now, it’s right back to the status quo with regard to the Raiders’ future. All we know is that we know nothing.