San Diego — a city recently shunned by its long-time NFL franchise — is ready with open arms for the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders if the team’s bid to move to Las Vegas falls through, multiple media reports suggested.
Officials for the city are already contacting the NFL to let the league know of their interest in the Raiders franchise, according to The Mercury News. The article noted multiple phone calls had been exchanged between San Diego officials and the Raiders organization, but the conversations’ contents were not known.
San Diego is jumping at the opportunity to contact the Raiders after their $1.9 billion stadium funding project in Las Vegas received a huge obstacle earlier this week. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, casino owner Sheldon Aldelson announced his intentions to withdraw from the stadium bid and pulled $650 million in pledged money toward the project.
— News 8 San Diego CBS (@News8) February 1, 2017
The Raiders organization is looking for Goldman Sachs to heavily finance the deal without Sheldon Adelson — and his money — in the picture. Without the casino magnate, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak believes the Raiders will struggle to put together a competent plan to present to the NFL owners in less than two months.
“The Raiders are putting a lot of hopes in the Goldman Sachs commitments, but I don’t know the extent of their commitments, and I certainly do not share that same level of hope. If (the Raiders) have a Plan B, I’m not aware of it, and the owners meeting is coming up in two months.”
San Diego lost the Chargers to Los Angeles due in part to not ponying up more money for the team towards a new stadium deal. The Raiders would still have to overcome that obstacle, but CBS Sports put together how a financial deal for a new stadium in San Diego could become a reality.
“Before the Chargers left, the city tentatively put together a plan that included a $375 million contribution from a combination of entities that include the city of San Diego, San Diego County and San Diego State University, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. If you combined that money with the $300 million that the NFL has already pledged toward a San Diego stadium, and another potential $300 million from the Raiders, that puts $975 million toward a stadium. The deal would still need an additional $100 million to $175 million, but it’s not impossible.”
— Mercury News (@mercnews) February 1, 2017
Although a possible stadium funding strategy exists, the Raiders would have to gain league approval to move to San Diego. The Raiders would become the third team in Southern California if the franchise moved to San Diego instead of Las Vegas, which could overcrowd the marketplace, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune article.
“If by some miracle San Diego mustered a stadium proposal that had real heft and topped what Vegas and Oakland proposed, the Raiders would still have to get approval from League owners to move to San Diego and become the third team in Southern California… [T]he NFL does have a big say in where franchises end up, and NFL actions show — in Vegas neon — that the League wants only two teams in Southern California.”
A move to San Diego may not be in the cards even if Las Vegas continues to shuffle the deck on the Raiders. Oakland would have a slight advantage as the city would have up to $100 million to use toward stadium renovations that the NFL provided the host city, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Do you think that San Diego has a chance to lure the Raiders to the city if the Las Vegas deal falls through? Continue to follow the Inquisitr for more on this developing story.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]