The Raiders are willing to look anywhere for a long-term stadium solution after withdrawing their application to relocate to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
That includes San Antonio, a market the team publicly flirted with in 2014. Tuesday’s NFL developments, which produced a resolution that put the Rams back in Los Angeles and leaves the Chargers with a chance to do the same, gave the Alamo City’s power brokers an opening to continue their sales pitch.
Former San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs, who made his fortune in south Texas, said he spoke with Raiders owner Mark Davis on Tuesday about the benefits of moving to San Antonio.
“I don’t believe you’re going to find anywhere in the United States that will match what we’ve got put together,” McCombs told ESPN Radio’s San Antonio affiliate on Wednesday. “We still have to get Mark to want to come here.”
The Raiders brand is strongest in California, with strongholds in the Bay Area and throughout Southern California. That includes San Diego, which, per sources, the Raiders would explore as a market if the Chargers vacated it for L.A. That could be an option for the Raiders is they choose to leave the East Bay.
“He has a feeling for the state of California, particularly Oakland,” McCombs said. “He figures that he’s going to need a stadium and if it doesn’t work there and he decides to go somewhere, we want him to come here.”
McCombs claims that San Antonio has corporate partners “lined up” to work with an NFL team that relocates to that area.
Bleacher Report insider Jason Cole reported this week that Davis purchased land between Austin, Texas and San Antonio where a stadium could be built. Those two cities are well populated and could support an NFL team.
McCombs said San Antonio leaders have several sites in mind for a prospective stadium. The area also has the Alamo Dome, which could house a team until a new stadium is complete.
McCombs said the pitch remains important, and San Antonio is an attractive destination.
“Mark has to want to come here. We have to find some way for him to see that this is heaven,” McCombs said. “…We would happy to be investors if that’s what he wants. If he wants to keep it all to himself, that’s okay too.”
The Raiders are looking for a place to play in the short term and the long term. They aren’t limiting their search to Oakland, where progress on a new stadium has been relatively slow.