Seems like the Raiders are staying in Oakland after The National Football League (NFL) announced that the team pulled their bid for relocation to Southern California.
The NFL announced on Jan. 12 that all of the NFL team owners voted in a majority for the St. Louis Rams to move to Southern California. The San Diego Chargers will join the Rams within the next year. The Raiders are expected to stay in the Bay Area for their 2016 season. If the Chargers back out on their plan with the Rams, the Raiders can then partner with them.
According to San Jose Mercury News, the majority of NFL owners voted (30-2) for a Rams-Chargers shared stadium in Inglewood, while the Raiders would be given additional loan money for a new stadium in Oakland or elsewhere.
NFL team owners met in Houston, Texas on Jan. 12 and 13 to discuss and vote on the teams’ relocations. Prior to the meeting, each of the three teams submitted NFL policy and procedure documentation for relocation that would be reviewed. According to an NFL statement on behalf of Brian McCarthy, Vice President of Communications at NFL, the franchises needed an affirmative vote of three-quarters (24 of 32) of the NFL clubs for relocation.
The Raiders and Chargers originally made plans to share a stadium in Carson, California while the Rams would reside in Inglewood. According to ESPN, the Raider-Charger plan did not get the majority of votes.
As stated by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders’ leasing contract to play at O.Co stadium expired this last season and they have not applied for an extension. The Raiders currently share the O.Co Stadium with the Oakland Athletics baseball team.
O.Co Stadium was built in 1968 by the Oakland-Alameda County, and has been notorious for broken pipes and flooding in the dugouts. Due to the rundown conditions, both the Raider’s and the A’s have been in talks to either move out or build a new stadium.
In an effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland, fans met for an open forum with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s executive staff on Oct. 29 to address their concerns about the team’s potential move back to Los Angeles. As a financial solution, some fans proposed to create a crowd funds campaign or make the Raider organization a “community-shared organization” where the public would hold minor shares in the team.
The city of Oakland is still in debt from the luxury suite renovation made to the O.Co stadium 20 years ago from when the Raiders moved back to the East Bay. Building a new stadium anywhere would require local taxpayer money. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce conducted a public survey, which revealed that keeping the Raiders in the area was the city’s last priority, out of sixteen options; public education was ranked most important. In addition, the A’s and Warriors received higher marks from the public to stay in Oakland compared to the Raiders.
To many die-hard Raider fans’ relief, the Oakland Raiders may be staying in the Bay Area. For the time being, Raider Nation can now go back to focusing on “just winning, baby.”
Read past coverage of the potential move of the Oakland Raiders on The Campanil.