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- The Oakland Raiders still don’t have a stadium to play in for the 2019 NFL season.
- Most recently, San Francisco shot down a potential deal with the franchise, with the city’s mayor and the 49ers both coming out against the temporary move.
- The most likely scenario is that the Raiders return to Oakland, or share Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers, but for now, things are still messy for the franchise.
With the 2018 NFL season in the books, teams across the league are already preparing for next year.
For most teams, this means preparing for the NFL Draft, balancing the books for free agency, and hiring to fill any jobs that have opened up in the days following the season.
But for the Oakland Raiders, another, more pressing problem has presented itself in February — finding a home stadium for 2019.
The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in the 2020 season, but still don’t have to place to play this coming year.
Initially, the Raiders were expected to finish out their time in California at the Oakland Coliseum, which has been their home since the 1960s, but pulled its lease for 2019 after the city of Oakland filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the franchise in December.
Since then, the Raiders have been searching for another temporary home for the 2019 season to frustrating results.
There were rumblings that the team would play in year out in San Diego, or possibly in a college stadium, including Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, but so far none of those plans have come to fruition.
Most recently, the Raiders appeared to have reached a deal with Oracle Park — home of the San Francisco Giants — to play out the year.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, the idea was quickly shot down by mayor London Breed, arguing that the team’s presence would add more difficulty to an area already packed with sporting events.
In addition to the mayor’s dismissal of the idea, the Raiders’ attempt to play in San Francisco hit another hurdle when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the 49ers were not expected to waive their territorial rights, meaning that the temporary move wouldn’t pass with the NFL even if an agreement was reached with Oracle Park.
Oddly enough, while the 49ers are opposed to having the Raiders play in San Francisco, there’s a chance that they host the team for the season at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, as that scenario would at least involve the franchise getting a rent check from the team owner Mark Davis for their troubles.
For now, the Raiders are back to square one, with two realistic options remaining: sharing Santa Clara with the 49ers, or a trip back to Oakland to ask for another year on the lease, likely at an increased rent rate.
The Raiders eventual move to Las Vegas will undoubtedly be filled with all of the over-the-top glitz and glamour that Sin City promises, but things have gotten quite messy in the meantime for the franchise as they await their relocation.
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Source: Business Insider