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NFL’s Roger Goodell ‘hopeful’ Raiders will finalize 2019 home soon

Updated January 30, 2019 - 5:26 pm

ATLANTA — Raiders owner Mark Davis still envisions his club playing its 2019 home games in the Bay Area, and the NFL is “hopeful” a resolution on an exact location will be made shortly, league commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday at his annual Super Bowl news conference.

In recent months, speculation has surrounded where the Raiders will play next season.

Rumors have ranged anywhere from the Bay Area, San Diego to London. Through it all, Davis’ desire not to disrupt his franchise’s day-to-day operations was known, as its headquarters are located in Alameda, California, for another year before moving to Henderson.

Goodell indicated this sentiment has not changed.

“I think the hope of Mark is to continue to be in the Bay Area with his Raiders fans,” Goodell said.

On Dec. 24, the Raiders played their final game under lease at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Team brass, including Davis, long envisioned remaining in Oakland beyond that lease. But on Dec. 11, the city filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and its 32 clubs in protest of the Raiders’ impending relocation to Las Vegas.

Davis pulled an extension offer that, if enacted, called for him to pay $7.5 million to occupy the Coliseum next season.

On Wednesday, Goodell characterized that litigation as “unfortunate.”

The team since has done significant work exploring Oracle Park in San Francisco, where the San Francisco Giants play. The venue (formerly called AT&T Park) housed the California football team in 2011 during the renovation of the university’s on-campus stadium. In December, the Giants released a statement confirming they began discussions with the Raiders about a similar, short-term arrangement.

At the time, this communication was at an early stage.

Reached Wednesday, a Giants spokesperson declined comment regarding how those talks have progressed.

The Raiders also have explored Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, in Santa Clara, California. Despite the lawsuit, the Raiders have not publicly ruled out a return to the Coliseum.

“I’m hopeful that there will be a resolution soon,” Goodell said. “As far as timing, the key thing about timing is our schedule. We need to make a schedule, obviously, for the 2019 season. The sooner the better for us.”

The NFL is expected to announce its 2019 regular-season schedule in mid-April.

One of the Raiders’ eight home games will be played in London against the Chicago Bears. No further details about that game, such as date and stadium, are known. Somewhere, their other seven home games will involve the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals.

Of the four NFL teams based in California, three will play at a temporary venue next season. The Chargers and Los Angeles Rams are based at Dignity Health Sports Park and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, respectively, while a shared stadium is built in Inglewood, California. Like the Raiders’ future home in Las Vegas, the Inglewood site is scheduled to open in 2020.

An answer on the Raiders’ 2019 stadium is expected in February.

More Raiders: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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