Sad, deluded San Antonio people still think the Raiders are moving there

Now that the NFL has apparently officially announced that no teams will move to Los Angeles in 2015, the only remaining unfounded relocation rumor is Oakland Raiders-to-San Antonio. So naturally, San Antonio (unelected) officials are doubling down on that angle, as is San Antonio Business Journal reporter/project coordinator (project coordinator?) W. Scott Bailey:

I reached out to San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Perez, who told me, “We feel we are still in the hunt.” …

Former mayor Henry Cisneros, who initiated relocation talks between San Antonio leaders and the Raiders, told me in recent days, “I know for a fact that we have moved to a different place. We have converted ourselves into a real option, where the Raiders know they can make more money than they are making now in Oakland by moving to San Antonio.”

That seems dubious at best, given that San Antonio’s Alamodome is 21 years old (which is “decrepit” in NFL years), that there’s no plan for a new or refurbished stadium, and that the San Antonio Spurs are even threatening to throw roadblocks in front of any NFL move to their city.

But talk like Cisneros’s serves a very important role for Raiders owner Mark Davis, who is currently trying to get a one-year lease extension at the Oakland Coliseum, while Oakland officials want to get him to sign a multi-year deal. Picture this scene at the negotiating table:

Coliseum official: We have a lovely ten-year extension here for you to sign.

Davis: Screw you, I’m not signing nothing longer than one year.

Coliseum official: And where exactly are you going to play this year? Los Angeles?

Davis: [Pulls out copy of San Antonio Business Journal, throws it on table.]

Coliseum official: In 20,000 pounds of Goya kidney beans?

Davis: No, no, the other article!

Coliseum official: Oh. [pause] You do know that Henry Cisneros hasn’t actually been mayor of San Antonio since 1989, right?

This could be a while.


32 comments on “Sad, deluded San Antonio people still think the Raiders are moving there

  1. Far from sad and deluded, I think San Antonio, all the dealmakers like Cisneros anyway, fully understand their role at this point: help the Raiders and in doing so work their way into the conversation as a legitimate option if someone does move in the next 10 years. Beyond the perpetual LA stalking horse (that still doesn’t have a stadium) there aren’t many places lining up to be what Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Nashville were for about 15 years in the 80s and 90s. If anybody does get to the point where they have to move and can’t afford LA, San Antonio would be a real option. And they’re making friends with the league by providing the Raiders with a relocation threat dance partner.

  2. True the Alamo Dome was built in 1993; however, it was designed for football and can hold up to 72,000 in air conditioned comfort. The Alamo Dome will receive a 44 million dollar upgrade to prepare it to host the NCAA Final Four tournament.

    In contrast Coliseum was built in 1964 for baseball and is currently configured to hold 56,057, which is more than enough to hold the 46,000 fans that typically attend a Raiders game there (among the lowest in the NFL).

    The Alamo Dome would likely be a temporary venue, with a state-of-the-art stadium eventually built in between San Antonio and Austin which are the 6th and 11th largest cities in the country and only about an hour apart. Peter Holt, the owner of the San Antonio Spurs, is on board with the Raiders relocating to South Texas and has expressed interest in an ownership stake.

    While one can’t fault Mark Davis for waiting a year to see if anything develops in Los Angeles, reality is that two other teams are eying the market (Chargers and Rams). It is a safe bet that all three won’t end up there. My guess is that it is just a matter of time before a NFL team calls San Antonio home.

  3. San Antonio and Austin are only the 6th and 11th largest cities in the U.S. because they do that trick of incorporating anything within 20 miles of town. If you go by metro area size, they’re 25th and 35th:

    By TV market size, they’re 36th and 40th:

  4. It is really a matter of the peculiar way that Nielsen draws its media boundaries.

    For example the San Francisco/Oakland market also includes San Jose. Dallas includes Fort Worth. Sacramento includes Modesto. All of these cities are about an hour apart.

    Despite being about 60 miles from each other Nielsen groups San Antonio and Austin as separate markets. If you combined them they would be a top 20 market (larger if you include nearby cities like Corpus Christi and Brownsville which follow San Antonio sports).

    In addition, the San Antonio/Austin market would not be splitting TV viewership among two NFL teams as is the case in San Francisco.

  5. I’m convinced that a combined San Antonio/Austin market could pull it off. They have the population base and the income for it, and I think people would turn up for games. I certainly wouldn’t think they’re less viable than Jacksonville or Indianapolis.

  6. If you add San Antonio and Austin’s Nielsen market sizes they’d be 17th, which seems about right.

    I’m not saying that San Antonio couldn’t support an NFL team, by any means. (Hell, Green Bay supports an NFL team.) But as we’ve seen time and again, market size doesn’t matter nearly as much to NFL owners as a favorable stadium deal. San Antonio is in the same boat as Los Angeles there: They’ll get a team as soon as they promise to provide a stadium with all the trimmings, and not expect the team owner to pay too much of the bill.

  7. The difference is that San Antonio has a more than adequate dome ready to go today that is vastly superior to It was the home to the New Orleans Saints for a season after Hurricane Katerina. Given the love for football in Texas, a state of the art stadium located somewhere between San Antonio and Austin would follow within a few years.

  8. Both the Alamodome and the Oakland Coliseum are more than adequate for football. Mark Davis isn’t looking for “more than adequate”; he’s looking for “can make me a lot more money.”

    If San Antonio were offering to build a new stadium, I have no doubt that Davis would happily move to the Alamodome until the new building was ready. But if he moved there now, he’d be losing any leverage to get a new stadium built. So, don’t hold your breath.

  9. What more delusional is the fact Oakland are trying to pay for a 2 billion dollar stadium. But this writer didn’t even bother to address cisneros proposal on the and that is a 3yr lease at the alamodome with aplan to build a brand new stadium in downtown san antonio

  10. Cisneros’ plan would be worth taking more seriously if he 1) were still an elected official and/or 2) would actually say out loud what it is.

  11. Looks like cisneros has pissed off the media here in the bay area and la. Does this writer know that the o coliseum is way older then the alamodome? O coliseum is a baseball facility. This writer didnt even bother to mention the renovations that have already been approved in time for the 2015 season. This guy calls himself a journalist?

  12. By “this guy” do you mean me? I have a name.

    Yes, I’m aware of when the Coliseum was built (1966), and also when the Mount Davis football seating was built (1996, though I had to look that one up to get the exact year). It was always intended as multipurpose (baseball + football), and is a better football than baseball facility these days.

    You’re right that the Alamodome is (mostly) newer and a better fit for football. But nobody’s moving anywhere to play in a 1993 stadium any more than a 1966 one. And right now Cisneros & Co. don’t even have as much of a stadium funding plan as L.A. and Oakland do (which isn’t much). So, yeah, the Raiders aren’t moving there anytime soon.

  13. Its also important to remember that California is broke. San Diego and los angeles and oakland. All share the same problem and that is that their is simply no public and state funding in california. Yet oakland are trying to pay for a 2 billion dollar stadium. And still owe 120 million on renovations to o coliseum still. And the a’s have a 10 year lease! Talk about delusional. Tim brown is right san antonio has the better offer on the table. a 3 year lease at the dome and a new stadium in downtown san antonio. This is the main reason why davis hasnt signed a lease extension. Cisneros stated ” we have been in negotiations dailey on buisness points” with davis. Going to be interesting to weeks meeting with oakland city council. …

  14. Fern, you keep saying that Cisneros has an offer on the table of a new downtown stadium. Do you have any actual evidence of this?

  15. It was first reported by ksat 12 news. And also early articles of bizjournal. Red mccombs will have a huge part if mark davis chooses to go to texas. Red has promised davis a share stake of the raiders. And conceptual plans of a new stadium within 3-4 years. Both parties agreed that the alamodome was but a temporary solution. Tim brown of all people also confirmed the proposal to nbc. Davis is no dought trying to get the best offer possible. But alot rides on whether oakland has a legitimate proposal on the table. If the plan is acceptable davis will sign a lease extension. but like davis stated before he does not want to give the comfort that their is more time for a solution. Davis wants a acceptable proposal now rather then later.

  16. Can you provide a link? I’m not finding anything on KSAT or San Antonio Business Journal about Cisneros and/or McCombs offering the Raiders a three-year Alamodome lease and then a new downtown stadium. I see:

    • McCombs offering to buy into the team:

    • Tim Brown “hearing” that San Antonio offered a good “package”:

    • Cisneros saying that because his son-in-law works for the Raiders, he figured luring them was worth a shot:

    Nothing at all about a downtown stadium.

  17. Ill tell you what neil ill try to find a link for you. Ksats news report on that was back in july so I dont know if thats still up. Bizjournal with red mccombs was back in september or so ill see if I can look it up. Very surprised that none of the top media picked up on this. Guess all the focus was on LA. You might also try mike sawaya alamodome director. He also vaguely acknowledged during the november meetings in oakland. …

  18. I admire this Fern fellow’s gumption. We’ve built palaces all across the land on the back of the same kind of enthusiastic, fact-free cheerleading that gets things done at the local level. Keep the balls in the air my friend, because the light at the end of the tunnel is, as always, Public Stadium Cash. And with that in mind, on behalf of my fellow Club of 32 member Mark with the bad hair-do, I say San Antonio here we come, baby!

  19. Found this from Bizjournal in September on McCombs — nothing about a new stadium:

  20. The only KSAT report from July is the one I cited above, which likewise has nothing about a new stadium:

  21. At least we know voters in the great state of Texas don’t mind putting a few bucks behind a bond for a football stadium.

    Actually, of all the discussed NFL markets, I’d give a lot more credence to “Austin-San Antonio” than even Los Angeles. The Alamodome obviously won’t do, and teams aren’t going to move to Texas to play there, but that region actually has the corporate strength and personal wealth to support a pro football team through the purchase of suites and expensive tickets. Certainly moreso than Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans.

  22. It is common knowledge for those of us who live in the East Bay that the Davis family will NOT sell the Raiders as someone implied in an early post (“Red has promised davis a share stake of the raiders”). And it just seems plain wrong for someone named “Red” to own the Silver & Black!

    The Coliseum last Sunday against the Bills was on fire. The place was rocking. I’m sure this has influenced Mark Davis in his desire to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

    The issue at the moment for the Raiders is the situation with the A’s. The dynamics of the negotiations with the A’s and Raiders are well beyond the scope of anyone on this board except Neil.

  23. Now that my Saturnalia revelries have subsided (abated??)…
    hope everyone had a good Christmas/holiday season/etc.

    I’m sure the Alamodome would be an acceptable temporary home. So would the Oakland coliseum, the LA Coliseum and/or the Rose Bowl. Given the level of (ticket buying) support the Raiders actually seem to have, there could be merit to them setting up shop in the former Home Depot Center in Carson (33k, if you count the grass berm butt-parking spaces) too.

    With all due respect to the Oakland/LA/San Antonio cheerleaders, this isn’t about finding a temporary location while something else is or might be built… it’s about getting that facility built (and not asking the poor cousin owner to pay anything at all if possible).

    Those of us with a soft spot for the underdog downtrodden Oakland teams (but emphatically not their owners…) like to think about ways they could be made better while simultaneously failing to note that San Fran has built two (and maybe soon three) facilities for it’s teams with relatively low public spending on same.

    The fact that Davis is talking (maybe) to multiple prospective hosts (in the parasitic sense) suggests very strongly to me that he isn’t thinking about moving. If he were, he’d be talking details with one or two and not saying anything about that to the media. He is just window shopping for now… I don’t blame him for window shopping given how little he can demand out of Oakland, but that doesn’t make his dalliance with San Antonio (or Minot) anything more serious.

  24. Neil: When the SABJ hires a project co-ordinator, do you take this as an admission that they are in the business of creating news rather than reporting it?

    I mean, W. Scott does kinda sorta sound like “F. Scott” if you don’t pay too much attention and read it really fast

  25. What a piss poor excuse for “joirnalosm” and then the comments by the writer in the comments section only go to future showcase the piss poor journalism and bias.

    The Alamodome is undergoing a $50 million renovation. A renovation that helped San Antonio land the 2018 Final Four.

    Also, San Antonio is now the 33rd largest media market, having moved up from last year.

    San Antonio will be a top 30 media market within a couple of years.

  26. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that phone keyboards are not NFL-ready.