It seems Derek Carr wants to return to Bulldog Stadium next season. Not to visit, but to play games.
During the Raiders’ game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, CBS play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon revealed what the ex-Fresno State star said to the broadcast team during a production meeting.
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“Derek Carr told us yesterday he wants to campaign to have the Raiders play their home games at Fresno State next year,” Catalon said.
Early last week, the city of Oakland filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL, trying to recover damages for the Raiders’ upcoming move to Las Vegas.
The Raiders in turn announced they were rescinding their rent offer for playing the 2019 season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, leaving the team in limbo before its scheduled move into the new Las Vegas stadium in 2020.
“We do not have an answer on where we’re going to play next year,” Raiders CEO Marc Badain told reporters at the NFL owners meeting in Dallas. “We have a number of options, and when we have an answer we’ll share it with you.”
San Diego, Levi’s Stadium (home of the 49ers in Santa Clara), San Antonio and Reno were brought up as possible locations for 2019 Raiders home games.
But one city that wasn’t mentioned is Fresno. If Nevada’s Mackay Stadium is in the discussion, why not Bulldog Stadium?
Carr’s brother, David, is on board with that idea, adding “I’m down with all of this” after brother Darren Carr playfully suggested the Fresno Raiders would win Super Bowl 54.
Raiders owner Mark Davis told reporters in Dallas that he wasn’t in favor of playing on an artificial surface, yet another potential roadblock to the Raiders coming to Fresno for a season. But, hey, there are reasons to dream:
▪ Derek Carr would return to the field where he helped Fresno State win back-to-back Mountain West championships.
▪ Fresno is halfway between Oakland and Las Vegas.
▪ Raider Nation is alive and well in the central San Joaquin Valley and figures to remain largely loyal to the franchise – at least as much as this season will allow.
▪Oh, and former Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica resides in Fresno and Super Bowl-winning coach Tom Flores is a Fresno native who played at Sanger High and Fresno City College.
For those who think Bulldog Stadium is too small, consider that its current 40,727 capacity dwarfs the 27,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson that the Los Angeles Chargers are calling a temporary home.