While the St. Louis Rams have relocated to the Los Angeles area for the upcoming 2016 season, both the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders are staying put for this season – at least. The Chargers reached an agreement with the Rams to become a revenue-sharing partner in the new Inglewood stadium, which is going to open up in 2019.
A few days ago, Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said that they’ll spend the 2016 season at Qualcomm Stadium. Now, Raiders owner Mark Davis has stated that his team is expected to remain in Oakland and play at the O.co Coliseum.
Davis and the Raiders have been trying to work out a lease agreement to stay there. According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, the only thing that can stop this from happening is a breakdown in talks between government officials in Oakland. Davis has said that a short-term solution is forthcoming.
“As of today, right now, we are in the process of trying to negotiate a one-year extension at the Oakland Coliseum to play the 2016 season there,” he said. “After we get that done, we’ll sit down and try to figure out where the future of the Raiders lies.”
There was speculation that the Raiders could move to San Diego if the Chargers had went to Los Angeles this season. But when the Chargers decided to stay, the door closed on that rumor quickly.
Davis even explored an opportunity to move the team to the San Antonio and Las Vegas market. Neither market is ready right now; however, could be long-term answers for the team or another NFL team should the league decide to expand there.
“I think San Diego’s a phenomenal place,” Davis added. “For the Raiders, it would be great because we have a very large Hispanic market; we think that’s something we could tap into down there… That’s just looking at it from a bird’s eye view. I don’t have any idea of what kind of negotiations Dean has going on there. I’m hoping he gets something done because I know that the fans there would love to keep them.”
While Davis is exploring options outside of Oakland, the Raiders fans would like for the team to show a long-term plan to stay in the area. On Christmas Eve, the fans showed an outpouring of support for the team as well as Charles Woodson, who played his final home regular season game that evening.
In order for the team to stay, they’ll have to get significant negotiations done. That isn’t going to happen over night and could take the entire 2016 season to make it happen.
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