Raiders to London? Reports say team may play 2019 home games overseas

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020, that much has been decided. However, there are still plenty of questions about where the team plans to play in the 2019 NFL season.

A legal dispute may keep the Raiders from playing at its now-former home in Oakland.

Fox Sports and England's Daily Mail report the Raiders could potentially play next season's home games in London.

"Raiders of the Lost Park," is how sports executive and consultant, Andy Dolich, described the saga surrounding the upcoming season.

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"I mean, we now have so many different locations outside of Oakland," Dolich said. "We've talked about AT&T Park, we've talked San Diego. We've talked Cal, and Stanford."

New reports point to a possible location across the pond. The Raiders would reportedly play their entire 8-game home schedule at the Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium in North London.

"That sticks it right in Raider fans and that definitely injures Oakland," Dolich said. "Let's not forget that the Warriors are leaving to play in Chase Center. The Raiders are leaving at some point to some location, and the A's have said that they're rooted in Oakland, but they haven't built a foundation in terms of a new stadium."

Forever Oakland founder, Griz Jones told ABC7 News, "The whole relocation process is a slap in the face to Oakland."

Jones said his group helped guide the City of Oakland to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the Raiders and NFL. He said its bad decision making from the two that put the football team and its fan base in this frustrating position.

"That's why we're not in support of this move at all," Jones said. "That's why we're going to do what we can, not just to keep them here for one more year, but to keep them here forever."

RELATED: Sources say Raiders rescind offer to rent Oakland Coliseum for 2019 season

Others told ABC7 News they fear the Oakland Raider's as they know it is no longer an option.

"That ship has sailed," Lindsay August with Ricky's Sports Theatre & Grill said. "As soon as the lawsuit happened, I did not see them staying in Oakland anymore."

Jones maintained, "If it's the Mark Davis Raiders, and/or new ownership, we want to keep the Raider name here forever."

Raiders have a February deadline to figure out where they're playing.

"Not quantum physics," Andy Dolich answered. "But it's 66th Avenue and it's called the Oakland Coliseum."

Dolich added, "To go across the pond and play a whole season in another country just seems totally illogical."

There would be plenty to figure out, both logistically and financially. The Raiders would need to make plans to relocate an entire team, including training staff and office staff- this would involve a few hundred people.

RELATED: San Francisco officials speaking out against Raiders potentially playing at AT&T Park

Moving all the necessary equipment overseas would be another hurdle.

Another concern, it's unclear how the league would schedule Raiders home games in London versus the team's away games with a five to eight-hour time difference.

Financially, there's a question about who pays for the extra travel and what plans would need to be made to service season ticket holders.

All details need to be decided in the next six to eight weeks. Raiders have a February deadline to figure out what they're doing.

The NFL already has plans to play four games in London in the upcoming season. The schedule, of course, not counting the eight possible Raider home games.

ABC7 News has reached out to the City of Oakland and the Tottenham Hotspur's media office for comment. This web article will be updated to reflect any response.
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