The notion of the Oakland Raiders using San Francisco’s AT&T Park in 2019 does not sit well with some local officials, who are speaking out against the possibility.
Where the Raiders will play home games in 2019 remains uncertain, as a lawsuit filed by the City of Oakland against the team and the NFL has seemingly squandered any possibility of a lease extension in Oakland. The Raiders had at one point sought to spend the 2019 season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before moving to their new Las Vegas stadium in 2020, but the club’s Coliseum lease does not go beyond the 2018 season, leaving questions about where it will play home games next year.
NBC Bay Area reported last week that the Raiders and MLB’s San Francisco Giants were in discussions about using AT&T Park for Raiders’ home games in 2019. Though primarily a ballpark for the Giants, AT&T Park has been used for football on previous occasions–including bowl games, XFL action in 2001, and as a temporary home for the California Golden Bears in 2011.
No agreement has been announced to this point, but some elected leaders in San Francisco are voicing their objection to the possibility. Among their concerns are that San Francisco would be used as a bargaining chip against Oakland, and that it would strain relations between the two cities. More from the San Francisco Examiner:
“Why would we want to write ourselves into this in a really ugly way?” said [Supervisor-elect Matt] Haney, who won this November’s election to represent District 6, which includes AT&T Park.
“San Francisco would be the scabs in this scenario if we undercut our friends across the bay,” he added. “People want the Raiders to keep their word and play in Oakland.”
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who represents the nearby Mission District, said she would personally ask the San Francisco Giants’ CEO to refuse the Raiders.
“I will call Larry Baer and say ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do this to our sister city across the bay,’” she told me. “This is a slap in the face, I don’t want to have anything to do with this.”
Ian Rapport of NFL Media has previously reported that the Raiders cannot relocate to San Francisco unilaterally, as AT&T Park is located within the territorial rights of the San Francisco 49ers. It remains to be seen whether AT&T Park will become a temporary Raiders home but, with no announcement as the new year approaches, the Raiders have work to do in determining where they spend 2019.