SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/AP) — Raiders owner Mark Davis walked outside the Ritz-Carlton, where the N.F.L. owners meeting is being held this week, and he vowed to do all he can to keep his team in Oakland. His promise came even as he and Chargers owner Dean Spanos moved ahead on plans for a stadium project in Southern California.
Davis said he will know by June 21 from the City of Oakland and Alameda County about a preliminary financing plan for $400 million to build a new stadium in the East Bay which he said would cost $900 million.
Davis signed “Stay in Oakland” posters in the middle of approximately 30 protesters who only moments earlier were chanting, “Stay in Oakland! Oakland Raiders!” They then changed their cheer to “Thank you, Mark!”
Davis reiterated he has no plans to sell the team in his lifetime, nor consider moving it to St. Louis.
“What’s up, guys? Hey, listen, you guys are the best,” Davis told the crowd. “I’m trying all I can do to keep this team in Oakland, OK? I don’t know what to do, I really don’t know. We’re trying. I’m not trying to divide any fan base. Every time I talk to anybody, I’m trying to stay in Oakland. That’s my No. 1 choice, but we can’t do this forever. I really appreciate you all, I really do.”
He told the fans he has “a whole staff that wants to stay in Oakland.”
Davis would like to build near the current, rundown Oakland Coliseum that the Raiders share with baseball’s Oakland Athletics. He said he had a three-hour dinner last week with Oakland’s City council president.
“I’m going to remain controlling owner of the Raiders,” Davis said. “The Raiders, they were my father’s life. It means a lot to me to perpetuate his legacy and bring this organization back to greatness.”
Raiders fan Ray Perez, who goes by “Dr. Death” and was in face paint and costume, led the group that also included some Chargers supporters holding signs reading, “Save Our Bolts.”
One fan suggested starting a GoFundMe page to earn money for the Raiders, and the idea of a task force also was mentioned.