If you think the Oakland Raiders are going to be the San Antonio Raiders (or the San Antonio Anythings), it will be a shock to all right-thinking people.
But to take the San Antonio Express-News story at face value (and there is no compelling reason not to), Mark Davis has no reason not to explore temporary life in the Alamodome. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?
Davis’ interest, such as it is, in Texas is fueled in part by the fact that the Athletics got their new 10-week-to-10-year lease with the Coliseum approved by the Oakland City Council before the All-Star break. That is a fairly strong indicator that the A’s have cut the line for a new ballpark, if there is one to be had, and Davis had always liked his place at the top of the Oakland franchise food chain.
[REPORT: Davis met with San Antonio reps about relocating Raiders]
But San Antonio is an essential nonstarter, for several reasons:
- The Alamodome would need massive enlarging from its present size, including doubling its current number of 52 luxury suites, or a new domed stadium would have to replace it.
- San Antonio is not a city with a huge corporate base, which is in keeping with its mid-30s television market.
- Los Angeles is still the real prize, as soon as someone figures out how to fund a two-team stadium. Davis almost surely wants to be part of the race to the basin with San Diego, and flirting with San Antonio only tells us he is willing to put his team in play somewhere.
So let’s call this what it is – flirtation without payoff. It may just be Davis pouting over the A’s deal, or just seeking some form of leverage over the political invertebrates who run Oakland and its stadium, but it is not to be considered a serious issue, at least not until Davis wants to make a bigger thing of it than he has so far.
San Antonio is, to be polite, a beard, either for Oakland or Los Angeles, but it surely is in no position to be in first position. At least not now, at least not yet. Just don’t be surprised if he finds other cities to engage his fresh and probably growing wanderlust.