The Oakland Raiders are rumored to be headed back south, with reports from team insiders that a move back to Los Angeles is now “inevitable.”
The Raiders have been one of the teams mentioned most often in the NFL’s plans to bring football back to America’s second-biggest city. Though there has been some back and forth on whether the team may actually strike a deal to remain in the Bay Area, it now appears that the relocation is definitely happening.
That news was seemingly confirmed by Jon Gruden, the team’s former coach turned NFL analyst.
On MNF conference call, Jon Gruden said “his sources” around the Raiders call relocation to LA “inevitable.” “It’s gonna happen,” he said.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) September 2, 2015
For months, there have been rumors that the Oakland Raiders would be returning to their home in Los Angeles. Back in August, reports indicated that team officials were looking at the possibility of spending a season in San Antonio while a new L.A. stadium was being completed.
San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor said her city would be open to hosting an NFL team, SFGate reported. But many have looked at San Antonio as something of a stalking horse, a threat often used by NFL teams looking to gain leverage in stadium negotiations.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has been open about his frustration with negotiations with the city of Oakland to build a new stadium that would keep the team there.
If the rumors about the Oakland Raiders planning a return to Los Angeles are true, they could have some competition. A handful of other teams have been linked to relocation efforts, including the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers.
But the NFL is expected to only approve one stadium, likely leaving one of the teams out.
“I guess you could use the metaphor of musical chairs, and there’s a bit of that going on,” Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants and a longtime L.A. resident, told the Los Angeles Times. “The home [markets] haven’t made their presentations to their respective clubs, so that’s still a bit of a moving target. The presentations made today were really well done.”
The rumors about the Oakland Raiders moving back to Los Angeles could be settled very soon. Many, including Giants owner John Mara, speculated that the NFL wants the two relocating teams to be in place for the 2016 season, meaning the process would have to get started very quickly.
[Picture by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images]