By January, Los Angeles should know if it’s getting one or more teams through relocation for the 2016 NFL season. That’s when the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams will likely put their stadium plans in front of the league’s 32 owners.
If one or more teams end up announcing a move to LA, the question is where they will play while a new stadium is constructed near the LA city limits. The Rose Bowl reportedly declined to house an NFL team, even on a temporary basis. Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Coliseum and the smaller Stubhub Center all remain viable options.
But what if no venue can be found in the second-largest media market in the United States?
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CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported that at least one of the teams potentially set to relocate to LA has an option outside of Southern California for temporary digs:
FWIW asked people in the know if I'm crazy to think Raiders could play 2yrs in San Antonio while LA stadium built. Told not out of question
However ridiculous this might sound, remember the Raiders previously met with political leaders in San Antonio to gauge the viability of relocating to Texas. While that meeting might have been more of a power play to bring the city of Oakland back to the negotiating table, there is a built-in relationship here. The plan would be to house the Raiders at the Alamodome until a new stadium is finished in either Carson, Calif., or Inglewood, Calif.
Permanent relocation to San Antonio would face major obstacles from league owners, including the Cowboys’ powerful Jerry Jones.
If the Raiders were to announce relocation to LA in January, the remaining hurdle would be to find a temporary location to play in 2016 and 2017. If that doesn’t happen, the team would then find itself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It could remain in Oakland, at which point fan support would continue to dwindle — something the NFL obviously wouldn’t want.
The team could also potentially look to latch on with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. However, that’s an idea that owner Mark Davis hasn’t supported in the past. It would also paint the Raiders in a bad light, especially considering Levi’s is currently a 49ers-centric stadium, and the team wouldn’t change that simply to cater to the Raiders.
San Antonio may be a less-than-ideal scenario for the Raiders, but there aren’t many other options out there short of finding temporary digs in Southern California.