OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed he has met with San Antonio officials but declined to disclose whether he has any interest in relocating the franchise to Texas.
“Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some city officials while I was in town,” Davis said in a statement Tuesday night. “I have nothing further to discuss on the topic.”
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Davis met on July 18 with Cisneros, then-Mayor Julian Castro, City Manager Sheryl Sculley and the president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to discuss potentially moving the Raiders from Oakland to San Antonio.
The newspaper said Sculley issued a memo to the City Council on Tuesday elaborating on the meeting.
“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence,” she wrote, according to the Express-News. “The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.”
The newspaper reported that the Alamodome could serve as a temporary home until a new stadium is built for the Raiders.
The Raiders are in the final season of their lease in Oakland. Davis has said that his preference is to build a new stadium on the current Coliseum site, which has been further complicated by the recent 10-year lease agreement by the Athletics to remain in Oakland. But the A’s agreement includes a provision to allow the Raiders to knock down the Coliseum for a new football stadium.
Davis told the Bay Area News Group by phone Tuesday night that he was in San Antonio with close friend and former Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch, who was being inducted into a local hall of fame.
The Raiders played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 before moving to Los Angeles in 1982. Late owner Al Davis moved the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995.
Any move now would require approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters at the team’s training camp in Oxnard, California, that he “didn’t make much” of the meeting. Dallas is about a 275-mile drive from San Antonio.
“What I will say,” Jones said, “is San Antonio is very important to the Dallas Cowboys.”