Good­ell: Raiders want ‘to con­tinue to be in Bay Area’ in 2019

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports - BY JERRY MCDON­ALD

Did NFL com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell put the Raiders one step closer to re­main­ing in the Bay Area for the 2019 sea­son?

At his an­nual Su­per Bowl week press con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day, Good­ell ad­dressed a ques­tion about where the Raiders would play their home games this sea­son by con­clud­ing “I think the hope of Mark (Davis) is to con­tinue to be in the Bay Area with Raider fans.”

The Raiders pulled out of lease ne­go­ti­a­tions when the club and NFL was sued by the city of Oak­land over the team’s move to Las Vegas, sched­uled for 2020.

Raiders owner Mark Davis, reached by phone, said he hadn’t heard Good­ell’s com­ments but doubted they rep­re­sented any­thing new re­gard­ing this sea­son’s home site.

“I stand by what I’ve said in the past,” Davis said. “I’ve been ab­so­lutely con­sis­tent. I want to stay in the Bay Area, but we’re look­ing at all op­tions. I haven’t changed my mind.”

The three Bay Area op­tions would be to re­turn to the Coli­seum or play at ei­ther Or­a­cle Park (for­merly AT&T Park) with the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants as host or at Levi’s Sta­dium in Santa Clara with the San Fran­cisco 49ers as host.

Davis has said in the past he’d be re­luc­tant to pay rent to a city that is su­ing the fran­chise, rea­son­ing he would es­sen­tially be pay­ing for the law­suit. But he also has spo­ken of putting emo­tion aside be­fore reach­ing a de­ci­sion.

Play­ing in Oak­land, San Fran­cisco and Santa Clara would en­able the Raiders to carry on a nor­mal NFL sea­son at their home prac­tice fa­cil­ity in Alameda. Ru­mored po­ten­tial des­ti­na­tions such as Tuc­son, Ari­zona, San Diego or even Lon­don have lo­gis­ti­cal ob­sta­cles which would mean heavy travel. The Raiders are sched­uled to play their “home” game against the Chicago Bears and for­mer team­mate Khalil Mack in Lon­don in 2019.

“Many of those is­sues are ob­vi­ously is­sues are tak­ing a lead on, they have been hav­ing dis­cus­sions with of­fi­cials, look­ing at their op­tions, mak­ing sure they eval­u­ate that,” Good­ell said. “It’s un­for­tu­nate that lit­i­gate was filed prior to their fi­nal sea­son in Oak­land, but that’s a re­al­ity. But it was filed by the city.

“Hope­fully they’ll get a res­o­lu­tion soon. As far as tim­ing, they thing on the tim­ing is our sched­ule. We need to make a sched­ule ob­vi­ously fro the 2019 sea­son and the sooner, the bet­ter.”

Good­ell said pre­vi­ously he hoped to to have a res­o­lu­tion by early Fe­bru­ary. The NFL sched­ule is typ­i­cally re­leased in early or mid-April.

Raiders coach Jon Gru­den, who would like as lit­tle dis­rup­tion to the sea­son as pos­si­ble, is on record as say­ing he hopes the team plays in Oak­land in 2019.

When the Raiders re­turned to Oak­land in 1995, they played their home games at the Coli­seum but re­mained in El Se­gundo dur­ing the week at their prac­tice fa­cil­ity, which was a ren­o­vated mid­dle school. They moved into their present fa­cil­ity in 1996.

The fa­cil­ity was up­graded with a new per­for­mance cen­ter when Jack Del Rio was hired as coach in 2015.

Mark Davis

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