The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs have their own little corner of the sports market cornered in Texas. And it appears that they are not ready to share said market with the Oakland Raiders, who are apparently looking into the viability of a move to San Antonio.
According to the San Antonio News-Express, the Spurs are not prepared to support a potential Raiders move to their backyard.
In the wake of Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis’ whirlwind tour of San Antonio, sources with knowledge of the visit said Spurs Sports & Entertainment (holding company that owns the Spurs) would be against the Raiders, as they are currently structured, relocating to South Texas.
The report goes on to indicate that SS&E wouldn’t have an issue with the Raiders moving to San Antonio if they could gain controlling ownership in the franchise. That’s obviously not in the cards with Mark Davis, also known as Tommy Boy, running the organization after the passing of his father, Al Davis.
Though, it’s not a horrible idea by any stretch of the imagination. It’s rather obvious to those close to the Raiders that Davis is running the organization into the ground. He appears to be in over his head as the team’s owner and isn’t making many friends within the league circles.
As the San Antonio News-Express indicated, it’s hard to imagine two professional organizations that are more opposite than the Spurs and Raiders.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine two more different franchises than the Spurs and Raiders. With the exception of their silver and black colors, the clubs have little in common.
The Spurs are the defending NBA champions, having destroyed the Miami Heat two months ago for their fifth league title in 16 years. The Raiders won three Super Bowls between the 1976 and 1983 seasons, but they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002.
In reality, a change in ownership may very well be good for the Raiders specifically and the NFL as a whole. But outside of some wrongdoing on Davis’ part, the decision to sell off the team is all his.
Spurs shareholder Charlie Amato expressed another objection as it relates to a potential Raiders move to San Antonio.
It’s very important that another sports franchise that comes into San Antonio has the same high-quality culture that exists with the Spurs.
While not necessarily a knock on the Raiders, this statement does seem to indicate that those within the Spurs organization don’t exactly believe that such a culture exists within the franchise that’s currently in limbo in Oakland.
Whether the Spurs would have any say in a potential move is another story. Local politics play the largest role in teams relocating to new cities. In that, the Spurs ability as power holders in San Antonio may very well sway the decision-making process should Davis and Co. decide to up and move.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio also makes a valid point.
The Spurs’ decision to push back could be interpreted as a sign that they take the possible move seriously. Or maybe the Spurs simply want to send a message to anyone else who would consider moving to town.
Florio goes on to suggest that the Spurs coming out and deciding to take a stand against a potential Raiders move to San Antonio could make it harder for Davis to use this is a negotiating ploy in Oakland. After all, the other two NFL franchises in Texas likely won’t support such a move.
In any event, this situation just got a tad more interesting. While it’s not known how serious the Raiders are about moving to Texas, the Spurs made it perfectly clear they’re not willing to support it.