OAKLAND (KRON) — Time to talk some Oakland Raiders relocation.
We are about a month out from the NFL owners meeting, which means now is a critical time in the fight to keep the silver and black in Oakland.
Team owner Mark Davis has repeatedly insisted he’s committed to Las Vegas, but as he keeps losing investors, he may be forced to make it work here in the Bay Area.
Ignacio De La Fuente has seen the Raiders in this position before. He was the former president of the Oakland City Council in the 1990s when the Raiders moved back from Los Angeles.
He currently sits on the joint powers authority.
And he says in a way, this situation is easier than 1995 because the team is already in Oakland.
The challenge is just convincing Davis that he has a solid option in the Bay Area.
“How do you make people feel comfortable that whatever information, that whatever deal is put together actually, the city and the county and the JPA can deliver that deal,” De La Fuente said.
As Davis continues to lose investors in Las Vegas, De La Fuente sees an opportunity for Oakland to swoop in.
It’s not yet known if Davis is warming up to the idea of sitting at the negotiating table with Ronnie Lott’s investment group, but seeing as the Coliseum site is more than just an illusion on the strip, the Raiders don’t need to look far for a viable option.
“Probably the best location anywhere and I’m not just saying that,” De La Fuente said. “When you have BART, transit, Amtrak, airport, it’s an area that is absolutely in my opinion doable to have not only a new stadium but a sports complex around.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has always said relocation is a painful process.
“It’s always disappointing for us to see relocation because we really want to see our teams stay where they are,” Goodell said.
De La Fuente suggests one way to prevent any hurt is possibly have the league step in to help save the team.
“I know that the Raiders should be in Oakland, right? So hopefully, they will help accomplish that goal,” De La Fuente said.
As far as finding any replacement investors goes, the Raiders have said they have options and financing will not be an issue.
However, no specific parties have yet to be named.