Report: Raiders to Play at S.F. Giants’ Ballpark

The Oakland Raiders will play 2019 in San Francisco while the San Francisco 49ers will not, according to a Sunday night report.

Sunday’s extremely boring Super Bowl was capped off with a big Bay Area football shocker. The Oakland Raiders’ last season as the “Oakland” Raiders will not be played in Oakland, and NBC Bay Area reports that the Raiders have reached a deal to play the 2019 season in San Francisco at the Giants’ newly renamed baseball field Oracle Park.

NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai reported Sunday night that the Raiders “will play in San Francisco for 2019 season” and “announcement expected this week.” The Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020, and a city of Oakland lawsuit against them has prompted the team to leave Oakland a year early, with no backup plan in place.

Additional reporting by NBC Sports Bay Area and ESPN asserts the deal has not been finalized, and the Raiders and Giants are still in talks. Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN via text that, “When we’re ready to make the announcement, we will.”

Both the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers could block the move. The 49ers own the territorial rights to the San Francisco market, and would have to specifically give the Raiders permission to play home games in the city that bears their name. The NFL would also have to approve the deal, though that appears likely. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that “I think the hope of Mark [Davis] is to continue to be in the Bay Area with the Raiders’ fans,” and it’s probably no accident that he identified the Raiders as a “Bay Area” team instead of an “Oakland” team.

While the league may approve the move, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors may not. Sups. Matt Haney, Aaron Peskin, and Hillary Ronen have all come out against allowing to Oakland Raiders to play their 2019 home games in San Francisco. “Don’t do this to our sister city across the bay,’” Sup. Ronen told the San Francisco Examiner. “This is a slap in the face.”

The Raiders play their first exhibition game in August — barely six months from now. The San Francisco Giants have homes games scheduled for three Sundays in September at this very same ballpark, which complicates matters further. The Golden State Warriors start playing at their new Chase Center arena roughly ten blocks away just a few weeks after that. So the Raiders and the San Francisco Giants may have a deal or be close it, but a few dealbreakers could still block and tackle the Raiders’ attempt to raid San Francisco.   

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