Jim Irsay: No optimism for Oakland, San Diego markets


Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay isn't optimistic about the NFL's future in San Diego and Oakland.

"At this point there is really no reason for optimism in either market," Irsay told reporters at the Winter League Meeting in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday. "I think everything has been done that can be done ... right now there isn't any communication going on."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell echoed some of Irsay's sentiments during a news conference Wednesday.

Irsay added that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Chargers exercise their option to relocate to Los Angeles before the Jan. 15 deadline. He also said it would be "fruitless" for NFL owners to give the Chargers and owner Dean Spanos more time to make a relocation decision beyond the already-established deadline.

"I think Dean needs to make a decision on what looks best for the Chargers and move forward," Irsay said. "That option is there and I know as owners that we felt two teams could be supported in Los Angeles, unquestionably."

Speaking specifically about the Raiders' efforts to get a new stadium in Oakland, Irsay said he doesn't "sense much optimism there" and doesn't think there are any "productive" developments going on to keep the Raiders in the city. Irsay also said he felt Las Vegas could support an NFL team.

"It's a big enough market and it's a different market than Oakland," Irsay said about Las Vegas. "There is a real want and real enthusiasm from the powers that be that run that state to have an NFL team there and that goes a long way."

If the Raiders do decide to file a formal relocation proposal, Steelers co-owner Art Rooney II said a vote from owners on relocation wouldn't come before March, according to NFL Network's Judy Battista.

Reiterating his previous stance on the matter, Spanos told reporters Wednesday he's "not going to make any decision until after the first of the year."