By next January, we should know what team(s) will be relocating to Los Angeles in time for the 2016 NFL season. That’s when the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams will likely put their stadium plans in front of the league’s 32 owners. For all intents and purposes, at least one team will be calling L.A. home by this time next year.
The larger issue here is where said team(s) might play while a new stadium is constructed near the Los Angeles city limits. The Rose Bowl has reportedly declined to house a NFL team, even on a temporary basis. Meanwhile, Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Coliseum and even the smallish Stubhub Center all remain viable options.
But what if no venue can be found in the second-largest media market in the United States?
CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora is reporting that at least one of the teams potentially set to relocate to Los Angeles has an option outside of Southern California for temporary digs:
FWIW asked people in the know if I'm crazy to think Raiders could play 2yrs in San Antonio while LA stadium built. Told not out of question
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 16, 2015
However ridiculous this might sound, remember the Raiders have previously met with political leaders in San Antonio to gauge the viability of relocating to Texas. And while that meeting might have been more of a power play to bring the city of Oakland back to the negotiating table, there is a built-in relationship here. The plan here would be to house the Raiders at the Alamodome until a new stadium is finished in either Carson or Inglewood.
Permanent relocation to San Antonio would face major obstacles from league owners, including the powerful and mighty Jerry Jones.
However, temporary relocation makes some sense.
If the Raiders were to announce relocation to Los Angeles in January, the remaining hurdle would be to find a temporary location to play in 2016 and 2017. If that doesn’t happen, the team would then find itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It could remain in Oakland, at which point fan support would continue to dwindle—something the NFL obviously wouldn’t want.
The team could also potentially look to latch on with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Though, that’s been an idea that owner Mark Davis hasn’t supported in the past. It would also paint the Raiders in a bad light, especially considering Levi’s is currently a 49ers-centric stadium, and the team wouldn’t change that simply to cater to the Raiders.
San Antonio may be a less-than-ideal scenario for the Raiders, but there aren’t many other options out there short of finding temporary digs in Southern California.
Photo: USA Today Sports