The Oakland Raiders are exploring the possibility of playing their 2019 home games at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Yet, a deal was far from complete Monday.
A source with knowledge of the situation told The Bee over the weekend the 49ers had not discussed allowing the Raiders to move to San Francisco, nor has the move received the mandated approval from the NFL.
A report from NBC Bay Area on Sunday night said the Raiders reached a deal with the Giants to play home games there next season before the club relocates to a new stadium off the Las Vegas Strip in 2020.
However, the 49ers hold territorial rights over San Francisco despite not playing there since their final season at Candlestick Park in 2013. NBC Sports Bay Area reported this week the Giants were “under the impression” the Raiders were still considering two other sites.
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The city of Oakland sued the Raiders in federal court in December over their move to Vegas, and that ruptured relationship has led to the Raiders looking elsewhere rather than play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, their home since returning to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995.
The 49ers moved 40 miles south to play in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium in 2014 and have been willing to allow the Raiders to share the $1.3 billion structure, the source said, but the Raiders haven’t shown interest despite a lack of viable Bay Area options outside of the Coliseum.
Levi’s Stadium has large storage areas that could be retrofitted to become another home locker room on the northeast side of the venue. There are currently three full-sized locker rooms: the 49ers’ well-appointed locker room in the southeast corner and two ancillary locker rooms on the north side, which housed Clemson and Alabama in the College Football Playoff national title game last month.
Negotiations between the Raiders, 49ers and the league office could happen soon, as the NFL works to nail down its 2019 schedule.
“Many of those issues are obviously issues that the Raiders are taking a lead on,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in Atlanta last week at his annual Super Bowl news conference. “They’ve been having a variety of discussions with officials looking at their options, making sure that they evaluate them. It’s unfortunate the litigation was filed prior to their final season in Oakland, but that’s the reality — that was filed by the city. I’m hopeful that they’ll get a resolution soon.
“As far as timing, the key thing about timing is our schedule. We need to make a schedule, obviously, for the 2019 season. And the sooner, the better for us.”