The Oakland Raiders played probably their last game ever at the Oakland Coliseum on Christmas Eve, as the team is scheduled to relocate and become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. But simple math tells you there is still more than a year between now and the 2020 NFL season. While the team did have an option to play in Oakland next year, that alternative likely bit the dust when the City of Oakland sued the Raiders earlier this month, and the Raiders subsequently pulled their offer to rent the Oakland Coliseum in 2019.
This leaves the Raiders with no place to play in 2019, and those games begin barely nine months from now. The team is frantically considering options ranging from Santa Clara to San Diego to San Antonio, but the Raiders have apparently taken a giant interest in playing the 2019 season at the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) December 21, 2018
NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai first broke the news last week that the Raiders were in negotiations with the Giants to play in the downtown San Francisco baseball park next year. The San Francisco Chronicle confirmed on Sunday that “The Raiders have had preliminary talks about playing home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco for the 2019 season, according to a source familiar with the discussions.”
The Giants confirmed the negotiations in a statement to NBC Sports Bay Area. “There has been initial interest expressed in exploring the opportunity of the Raiders playing at AT&T Park,” the Giants’ statement says. “Many details would need to be figured out. The Giants want to do what’s best for Bay Area fans and would be open to the concept just as we hosted Cal Football in 2011 when Memorial Stadium in Berkeley was being renovated.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 21, 2018
Not so fast, says the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He notes in the above tweet that “This falls within the #49ers territorial rights within the market, sources say.” Those sources are almost certainly people within the San Francisco 49ers organization, who could indeed veto a Raiders move to San Francisco. Any move, even for one year, has to be approved by NFL owners.
Home of the Raiders
1960-1961 San Francisco
1982-1994 Los Angeles
2019 San Francisco?
2020 Las Vegas
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 25, 2018
The Raiders actually did play in San Francisco back in 1960 and 1961. They’ve got about six weeks to decide if they’ll play in San Francisco again in 2019, as ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez points out that “the league needs to know by early February at the latest where the Raiders will play in 2019 for scheduling purposes.”
Update: The San Francisco Examiner reports that several San Francisco elected officials have come out against hosting the Raiders at AT&T Park, including Sups. Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, and Sup.-elect Matt Haney. “San Francisco would be the scabs in this scenario if we undercut our friends across the bay,” Haney tells the Examiner. “People want the Raiders to keep their word and play in Oakland.”