Invitation mix-up or divided loyalties for Raiders' Davis?

AP News
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Posted: Apr 22, 2015 7:32 PM
Invitation mix-up or divided loyalties for Raiders' Davis?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — So which team is Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis playing for?

The Raiders and San Diego Chargers are trying to build a $1.7 billion stadium in the city of Carson, just outside Los Angeles. Yet Davis was listed as a special guest this week at a speech by the mayor in nearby Inglewood, where a $1.9 billion stadium is planned that could become home for the St. Louis Rams.

Davis' appearance in Inglewood would have amounted to a visit to enemy territory — the two projects are competing as the NFL considers bringing football back to the LA market.

"I was shocked," said Chicago-based sports finance consultant Marc Ganis, who has worked on relocations, financing and other projects for a host of NFL teams, including the Rams' move to St. Louis.

The Chargers and Raiders "are in lockstep with each other in Carson, in writing," he said. "There has to be some miscommunication."

A statement from Inglewood Mayor James Butts' office Monday said the event would include a presentation with "the inside scoop ... on the NFL relocation process as it relates to the 80,000 seat stadium that will break ground in December," a reference to the Inglewood project that is linked to Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

However, the Raiders on Tuesday released a statement saying Davis would not attend. The Inglewood mayor's office reversed course Wednesday, saying Davis would not be on hand because of a "scheduling conflict."

Butts' office did not respond to requests for additional comment.

The confusion over Davis' calendar surfaced after Carson's City Council on Tuesday endorsed the plan for a shared stadium for the Chargers and Raiders, if the teams can't get deals for new stadiums in their current hometowns.

Under NFL rules, the next opportunity for a team to file to relocate to either stadium would be in January 2016. The move would have to clear a tangle of league hurdles, including getting support from at least 24 of the 32 teams.