SBD/August 12, 2014/Franchises

Don't Mess With Texas: Spurs Speak Out Against Potential Raiders Relocation

Some believe the Raiders are using San Antonio as a bargaining chip
Spurs Sports & Entertainment "would be against the Raiders, as they are currently structured, relocating to South Texas," according to sources cited by Orsborn & Baugh in a front-page piece of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Spurs shareholder Charlie Amato indicated that SS&E "harbors concerns about its long-term financial health should it be forced to compete with another major league franchise for sponsorships, suite sales and ticket sales." Amato said that the solution would be for SS&E to have "controlling interest in the Raiders or perhaps any other major league franchise that wanted to move to San Antonio." Amato: "I would be more excited about the Oakland Raiders moving to San Antonio if the Spurs ownership group had the possibility of purchasing the team." He added that a Spurs-controlled NFL team would "ensure that the football club would be culturally compatible with the NBA power." Consulting firm The Aspire Group Chair & CEO Bernie Mullin believes NFL teams seeking to relocate should "seriously consider moving to South or Central Texas." Mullin said a recent study by his firm "indicated San Antonio and certainly somewhere between the San Antonio and Austin markets would appear to be extremely viable for the NFL." While Mullin acknowledged that San Antonio "lacks a robust corporate base for pro sports sponsorships," he believes that an NFL team with "only roughly 10 home games per season in such a tourism hotbed as San Antonio would draw fans and sponsors from an 'extremely large radius'" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 8/12).

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH: In Lubbock, Enrique Rangel wrote Raiders Owner Mark Davis is "doing what other franchises have previously done when trying to negotiate a new stadium with their host city: They have used the Alamo City as a bargaining chip." The city's TV market ranks 36th in the nation, "not big enough for an NFL team." Also, "a fifth of the city’s population lives under the poverty line and there are not enough Fortune 500 corporations" (LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL, 8/9).
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