Raiders Examine Playing in San Francisco in 2019

 

ALAMEDA, Calif. — While the San Francisco Giants acknowledged Friday that the Oakland Raiders have expressed “initial interest” in playing their home games at the Giants’ waterfront ballpark next fall, Raiders owner Mark Davis reiterated that “all options are open” for a one-year home for his team.

Davis, who made the same remark earlier this month, declined to elaborate Friday.

The Giants, meanwhile, issued a statement that said the Raiders were “exploring the opportunity” of playing at AT&T Park but that “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,” the team said in its statement.

Davis and Giants CEO Larry Baer are friendly and had conversations a few years back about joining forces with other Bay Area sports entities when San Francisco contemplated launching a bid to play host to the 2024 Summer Olympics.

With the Raiders leaving for Las Vegas in 2020, the city of Oakland announced last week it was filing a federal lawsuit against the team and the NFL over the move. In response, the Raiders pulled their lease offer of $7.5 million to play one last season at the Oakland Coliseum off the table.

Several other cities have also emerged as potential stopgap homes for the Raiders in 2019, including San Diego and Santa Clara in California; Reno, Nevada; and Glendale, Arizona. Even Oakland remains a possibility if a truce can be brokered.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league needs to know by early February at the latest where the Raiders will play in 2019 for scheduling purposes. Plus, a move to a different market would require a vote of approval by NFL owners.

The Raiders play host to the Denver Broncos on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Christmas Eve in what could be their final home game in Oakland

If the Raiders do indeed leave, the Giants’ home park might make the most sense for them next season. The trip to the stadium is about 13.5 miles by way of the Bay Bridge from the Oakland Coliseum, and game-day travel would be relatively easy, particularly with public transportation.

 

AT&T Park, which opened in 2000 and has a baseball capacity of 41,915, has played host to football in the past, with seating capacity expanded to 45,000. The XFL’s Demons called the park home for five games in 2001. And from 2002 through 2013, a college football bowl game was held there, though, because of the baseball configuration, both teams had to stand on the same sideline, separated at the 50-yard line. It was the same configuration for the University of California’s football team in 2011.

Plus, the Raiders already have history in San Francisco, having played the first four games of their inaugural 1960 AFL season in Golden Gate Park’s Kezar Stadium, before finishing out that season and playing the entire 1961 season at Candlestick Park.

The Raiders played their home games from 1962 to 1965 at Oakland’s Frank Youell Field before moving into the Oakland Coliseum, which they have called home from 1966 through 1981, and then again from 1995 through the present, with a 13-season stint at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1982 to 1994.

 

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