The situation could become a boondoggle for the team and NFL, but Raiders owner Mark Davis told Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a phone interview Wednesday that he's not exasperated by the current situation.
"I'm not frustrated," Davis said. "I've said from the beginning, my biggest concern is our fans, and it's my hope and preference to remain in the Bay Area (in 2019) for them. The fans have always been first in my heart. We do have other options, but the hope is to remain in the Bay Area next season until we move to Las Vegas in 2020, which I remain very excited about."
Remaining in the Bay Area for another season appears to be a tricky proposition. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the San Francisco 49ers are not expected to waive their territorial rights for the Raiders to play in Oracle Park -- the Giants' baseball stadium -- during the 2019 season.
The pushback against playing at Oracle shrinks the Raiders' options. Davis' team could spend the season as tenants of the Niners at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara or come to an agreement to play the final season in Oakland despite the city's lawsuit against the organization.
"The thing is, we haven't been the ones talking at all," Davis said. "Others have been talking for us and in some cases against us. I know the (league) would like this decided within a few weeks, and we certainly don't want to be the ones that would cause a delay in scheduling."
"Honestly, I pray and I hope we're playing in the Bay Area," Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn said Wednesday night on *NFL Total Access*. "We deserve to send [the fans] off right. We didn't have a good year last year and we want to come back this year and send the fans off right. Wherever it is (we play), I hope it's in the Bay Area, even if it's somewhere where the fans have to commute, as long as they can get there, I just want it to be in the Bay Area."
One of 32 teams in the most popular and profitable sport on the entire globe not having a place to play in 2019 remains a massive story that won't shrink until Davis finally lands a rental home.