Los Angeles Raiders Coming Back to the NFL? Al Davis Remains the Key Issue
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A recent story that is floating around the media circles has pegged the Oakland Raiders as a team considered to be moved to Los Angeles, via a deal from billionaire Philip Anschutz. The deal, in simple terms would have Anschutz become a majority owner, the team would play in the newly-named Farmers Field, which is still being constructed.
To date, this offer sounds like it has been tested against five teams, including the Vikings, the Chargers, the Rams and the Jaguars. Some clubs have already pulled the plug on the rumor, but as the Raiders go, two things run suspect on this story.
First off, within the first line, comes the phrase acquire majority ownership. Considering who is currently the owner of the Oakland Raiders, one Al Davis, this would not happen, unless Al, in all his cunning, legalese, worked a deal to regain control of the team after five years, etc. Davis would never allow another person to take his child from him, and I'm not talking about Mark. The Raiders are all Al Davis has thought about, hell or high water.
Secondly, as such, Al would only move the team if it was in his own doing, his own action and his own mindset. When he elected to move the team to Los Angeles back in the early 1980s he did so, feeling he could do better, with a bigger stadium, etc. He would later discover that even with a team who won a super bowl back in '80s, that unless one can win and win consistently, the fans will not keep packing the stadium.
Fast forward to 2011—the team, whenever the owners decide to end the lockout, would play in one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL, in front of a small but loyal crowd. The team did extend their previous lease out to 2013 in an effort to give the city a chance to build a new, bigger stadium.
Unfortunately, with the current economy, Gov. Jerry Brown's disdain for how the city is still on the hook for the last round of renovations and the league's pressure for the Raiders to share a stadium with someone, Al Davis may find himself taking a gamble.
Does this mean Al Davis will sell off controlling interest to an outsider? Highly doubtful.
Does this mean the Raiders are safe in Oakland? That is the $64 question...and only Mr. Davis knows the answer.
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