Raiders Deny Report on Fast Move to Oakland : Football: ESPN says owner Al Davis is scrambling to get team north before start of season. But a club official says there is nothing to substantiate story.
A Raiders official said today there is nothing to substantiate a broadcast report that the team might move back to Oakland in time for the start of the National Football League season.
“The same source said a few weeks ago that without a doubt, the Raiders would play the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason game at Oakland instead of Los Angeles,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.
“As we all know, the Raiders beat the Cowboys 16-13 Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.”
ESPN, citing unidentified sources, reported Sunday night that Raiders owner Al Davis was scrambling to work out final details of a move to Oakland, including a buyout of the team’s lease at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
ESPN also reported that the NFL has been prepared for months for a quick switch back to Oakland.
Don Perata, president of the Alameda County Supervisors and a leader in local attempts to bring the Raiders back, told KCBS radio in San Francisco that he thinks a move is likely.
“It could all come together, and I suppose even though I’ve never, ever assumed they would be back this year, if Al Davis can say, ‘We have a contract and we have a release from L.A. and we have the approval of whatever is required from the NFL,’ yeah, it could happen,” Perata said.
The Raiders drew a crowd of only 28,273 to their game against the Cowboys. The Raiders are scheduled to open the regular season against the Denver Broncos Sept. 9 in Los Angeles.
The Raiders, who moved to Los Angeles from Oakland in 1982, are unhappy with their aging home stadium, the oldest in use by an NFL team.
Oakland has made a $127-million relocation offer, and Davis has until September to accept or reject it.
Mayor Tom Bradley met with Davis last week to encourage him to accept a new offer to keep the team in Los Angeles. Spectacor Management Group, the private manager of the Los Angeles Coliseum, has tendered an offer that would advance $20 million to the Raiders.
The money would be paid before $100 million in proposed renovations to the 67-year-old Coliseum are completed.