Not unlike reports a couple months ago that the Oakland A's baseball team was considering moving to San Antonio, rumors that the NFL's Oakland Raiders are eyeing the Alamo City are described by officials as a mixture of speculation and wishful thinking.
The sources tell Newsradio 1200 WOAI that it all stems from a trip to San Antonio several weeks ago by Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, who are engaged in seemingly perpetual disagreements with the City of Oakland and Alameda County over their playing stadium.
When former Mayor Henry Cisneros, who shares with Davis a connection with Prairie View A&M Univesity, met Davis at an event to honor the Prairie View Interscholastic League. sources say he started 'chatting up' San Antonio as a possible new home for the Raiders, going so far as to take Davis to see the Alamodome.
The source says the Alamodome was pushed as a 'stopgap' facility, but stress that Davis never suggested San Antonio, nor did he bring up the subject until his chat with Cisneros. Their talks could not be described as anything near a 'meeting' on the subject.
The source says San Antonio simply wanted to remain 'in the picture' but received no indication from Davis that, despite his well publicized stadium disputes, he has any intention of leaving Oakland.
David released a statement late Tuesday saying 'I was in San Antonio to honor Cliff Branch on his induction. Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some of the city officials when I was in town. I will have nothing more to say on the subject.'
City Manager Sheryl Sculley also said any speculation about the Raiders is premature.
Cisneros lobbied Davis' father, Al Davis, to move the team to San Antonio back in the late 1980s, when the Raiders briefly moved to Los Angeles.
San Antonio has been a bridesmaid for NFL and MLB teams for decades. When Red McCombs owned the Minnesota Vikings, San Antonio was hinted as as a possible destination for the Vikings if McCombs didn't get the stadium deal that he wanted. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the New Orleans Saints played several home games in the Alamodome, leading to speculation that the Saints would move to the city, especially considering that New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson lived in the San Antonio area.
San Antonio made a strong move under McCombs to receive an NFL expansion team in the expansion that landed teams in Carolina and Jacksonville.