Raiders owner discusses possibility of moving team to San Antonio

Discussion in 'NFL Forum' started by Jimmors, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Jimmors

    Jimmors Get Schwifty
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    Sep 24, 2005
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    SAN ANTONIO — Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and two top lieutenants met recently with several San Antonio officials to discuss the potential of moving his NFL team from the Bay Area to the Alamo City, local leaders involved in the talks confirmed Tuesday.
    On the weekend of July 18, Davis met with the officials, including Henry Cisneros, then-MayorJulián Castro, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, Mario Hernandez of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and both Richard Perez and David McGee, the president and chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, respectively.
    Late Tuesday, after the Express-News published a version of this story on its websites, Sculley issued a memo to the City Council.
    “I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence,” she wrote. “The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.”
    Sculley wrote that those discussions were preliminary and confidential and that she would update the council as things progressed.
    San Antonio has often been used as a bargaining chip for pro sports franchises trying to negotiate better deals in their own respective cities, but sources have characterized Davis' interest in San Antonio to be at least somewhat more serious. He is clearly perturbed with his current situation in Oakland, where the team's lease expires after the 2014-15 season.
    Cisneros, who led the charge to build the Alamodome when he was mayor, has been described by sources as the architect of the meeting. His son-in-law, Brad Badger, is in corporate sponsorship sales for the Raiders.
    When reached by the San Antonio Express-News, he tempered the significance of the meetings. Cisneros said that over the years, he'd become friends with Davis, who was already coming to San Antonio for an event. Cisneros said he wanted to take the opportunity to make a pitch to Davis in case he decides to relocate the team.
    “So we spent the weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to show him San Antonio in the event if it ever became necessary to consider a site other than Oakland,” Cisneros said. “We know they have lease issues with Alameda County, so it was a good opportunity to show him facilities in San Antonio as well as have him meet key leaders in San Antonio.”
    Davis and his associates spent two or three days here, visiting the Alamodome and other places, sources familiar with the talks said. They also took an aerial tour of the city in a helicopter, arranged by developer Marty Wender.
    With some upgrades, the Alamodome could be ready for a 2015-16 NFL season, though it would be a temporary home at best. NFL teams likely would need 100 suites, and the Alamodome currently has 52. It physically could facilitate the addition of 48 more, but funding has yet to be earmarked by the city for such upgrades.
    If the Raiders moved here, though, Davis is expected to seek a new stadium within a few years, after the team had proved itself in the Alamo City.
    Davis told San Antonio civic and business leaders he isn't seeking a “Jerry Jones-type facility” and prefers “a small, intimate” stadium that he can place “a statue of his father in front of,” a source said. But even if San Antonio ponies up an enticing deal and Davis ultimately decides to relocate here, the two sides would still face an uphill battle. San Antonio only ranks in the mid-30s in the nation's top television markets and NFL owners — including the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans — would have to vote on the deal. And whether the NFL would allow the team to leave the sixth largest media market for the 36th remains unclear.
    Any team desiring to relocate would need the blessing of 24 of the league's 32 owners. Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of communications, had little to say on a potential Raiders relocation.
    “We don't have any information about (Davis' meeting in San Antonio), so there is no reason for us to comment,” he said Tuesday. “We have received no applications from any of our teams to relocate at this point, so there is nothing for us to respond to.”
    Though San Antonio ranks 36th in the country's top television markets, the Raiders have a significant Hispanic fan base and Davis apparently believes his team would do well in South Texas.
    Cisneros said the Alamodome is one of the few buildings of its “quality and size” that an NFL team might inhabit if it needed to relocate.
    He said he offered insight to Davis about “the market, the scale of the market, the relationship to Austin, the Mexico connection, which should obviously be something he should have in his mind.”
    It appears that his meeting here has been in the works for at least a couple months. A source familiar with the talks said he had heard a couple months ago that the Raiders were interested in San Antonio. But the details of Davis' visit indicate that he could be interested in San Antonio more than just as a bargaining chip in Oakland.
    While here, the Raiders owner had separate discussions with Spurs owner Peter Holt and Red McCombs, who both showed interest in having a stake in the team if it were to move here. A source indicated that the beleaguered Wheatley Heights sports complex on the East Side could serve as a potential training facility, and Davis also looked at open land during his visit.
    Though Holt is apparently interested in NFL in San Antonio, others in the Spurs organizationare not. There are concerns, a source said, that the Raiders, whose colors are also black and silver, could pull away from the Spurs' fan base — and their pocketbooks.
    Through the years, NFL and Major League Baseball teams seeking new stadiums have flirted with San Antonio but none of those talks ever came to fruition. In the NFL, the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings, the Arizona Cardinals, the San Diego Chargers and others reached out to San Antonio either directly or through the media. The MLB's Florida Marlinseven sent representatives to San Antonio to meet with County Judge Nelson Wolff and other county officials in 2006.
    In 2005, Saints owner Tom Benson had serious talks with then-Mayor Phil Hardberger about relocating his team to San Antonio in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Saints made the city their headquarters after the storm damaged New Orleans' Superdome and even played three regular season games at the Alamodome, but then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue convinced Benson to return the club to the Crescent City.
    Finally, tired of being used as leverage for teams to gain better deals in their markets, Wolff and other leaders decided after the Marlins left that they would only negotiate with teams that had the relocation blessing of their respective leagues.
    In 2011, the city and county commissioned California-based Premier Partnerships, sales and marketing firm focused on “revenue optimization” of sports initiatives, to conduct a feasibility study. The consultant determined that San Antonio could support the Arena Football League and lower-division soccer but not teams in the MLB or NFL.
    The report said, among other things, that San Antonio fell short on the number of Fortune 500 companies and median household income. Its authors recommended that San Antonio “should continue to build its sports landscape and take a 'wait and see' approach with larger professional leagues.”
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
    Member of the Month DBS Writer

    Nov 4, 2006
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    Right now SA is the 7th largest city, 36th largest US economy and 36th largest TV market, all of which is growing. The economy is equivalent to Nashville and Cincy, Milwaukee and better then New Orleans and Jacksonville. As for the Fortune 500 thing, the city has 5, 1 less then all of Indiana, and the same amount as all of Arizona, and 1 less then Detroit and it's surrounding areas.

    It was pointed out last night on sports radio down here that Mexico biggest NFL follows were, the Cowboys, Steelers and the Raiders, so you could easily grow the Raiders brand by moving this close to the boarder. The Saints wanted to be here, but the NFL neg press for letting the Saints leave NO's after Katrina would have been a nightmare and Paul Tag's strong armed the Saints into staying in NO.

    They COULD support an NFL and/or MLB team...the problem is that Jerry Jones has no intention of giving up San Antonio and the free money he gets from them being w/out an NFL team. The other problem is the city would not vote to build another stadium, and the Alamo Dome is outdated, I cannot imagine the cost of getting that thing expanded and updated for a NFL team.
    #2 riczaj01, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
    Member of the Month DBS Writer

    Nov 4, 2006
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    McCombs: Davis' S.A. visit went well

    Billionaire Red McCombs told the San Antonio Express-News on Wednesday that he and his family would be interested in buying a piece of the Oakland Raiders "if that's what it would take to get them" to San Antonio.

    McCombs, however, said he's not sure whether Raiders owner Mark Davis would seek out local investors if he was to relocate the team.
    "But I told him if he wanted some, they wouldn't be hard to get," he told the newspaper.
    Davis and two high-ranking Raiders front-office personnel met with several city officials in July about the potential of moving his team from Oakland to San Antonio, the Express-News reported last month. McCombs and Spurs owner Peter Holt also were at the meeting.
    Davis has acknowledged the visit in a statement he released last month.
    McCombs, who owned the Minnesota Vikings from 1998 until 2004, told the Express-News on Wednesday that Davis' visit couldn't "have gone better."
    McCombs told the newspaper that it is his belief there is a "definite possibility there may be a relocation" and he doesn't think San Antonio is being used as a "bargaining chip."
    The Raiders need a new stadium -- the current lease at Coliseum will expire after this upcoming season -- and had previously, in a roundabout way, been linked to San Antonio, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, as well as nearby Concord and Dublin in the East Bay.
    In his statement last month, Davis specifically mentioned former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, citing him as a friend who suggested he meet with city officials. McCombs said Wednesday that Cisneros could be the key if the Raiders relocate to South Texas.
    "Mr. Davis was impressed by Henry -- pure and simple," McCombs told the newspaper. "I don't know whether it's a long way from a deal or whatever, but at least there was an opening there and we have a leader to take charge."
    McCombs acknowledged to the Express-News the odds might be against San Antonio to land the Raiders, but he thinks the city has solidified itself as a contender if Davis decides to relocate the team.
    "For a guy to pick up and move from a place he's been as long as he's been there, that takes a lot," McCombs told the newspaper. "It may not happen. But you got to be in the game, you've got to give yourself a chance, and that's what Henry's doing."
  4. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

    Aug 16, 2013
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    This is a no brainer, move them now. Who didn't luv the Oakland Raiders in the 70's? With Madden and all the crazy nuts that went along with them like Alzado. I did especially in 70's when the Bears were good at being worst of the worst. But times have changed it was just a blast while it lasted now it's time to move on. I say this it's a done deal in a year or 2 with a stadium that sucks in Oakland and the team that blows it all adds up.
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 George Halas
    Member of the Month DBS Writer

    Nov 4, 2006
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    LA makes since, but I think 1 or 2 expansion teams in LA would make more since then moving the Raiders back there.

    I forgot something in my original post. SA is the largest city to NOT have at least 2 pro sports teams.

    Biggest obstical will be Jerry Jones who has WAY to much pull in the NFL, and he won't want a team in San Antonio.
    #5 riczaj01, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014

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