While the rumblings and rumors have been there this offseason, it looked like the San Francisco Giants were going to escape hosting the Oakland Raiders this season at Oracle Park. The Raiders had begun to explore options elsewhere after the initial discussions.
After the Super Bowl was over and the rest of America had finally been put out if it’s misery, the misery just got added right back on for San Francisco Giants fans. Raj Mathai, the lead anchor for NBC Bay Area, dropped the news on Giants fans right after the Super Bowl, that the Oakland Raiders would be calling “Oracle Park” home for their 2019 season, pending NFL approval.
Luckily, this is still far from a done deal. Many reports have pointed out that the 49ers have territorial rights to San Francisco (duh), despite calling home nearly 50 miles to the south. The Niners have been opposed to the Raiders playing in Levi’s, and unless a tentative deal has been reached between the Giants and Raiders, that the Niners feel like they need to respect, there is a solid chance the 49ers would force the Raiders to lay in the bed they made. But, even more so, as Mercury News Columnist, Dieter Kurtenbach, reported, a deal hasn’t been struck.
Obviously, there are still a ton of logistical issues to work, not to mention the fact that the Niners could absolutely be petty about the whole thing and strike it down regardless of any agreement that the city of San Francisco, the Giants, and the Raiders have made.
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So while it seems like there is a real possibility that the Raiders could be encroaching on the Giants’ space come this fall, there is also the equal possibility that nothing actually comes of this and everybody is freaking out for no reason. But why would the Giants even go down this road?
The obvious answer is money. And frankly, I don’t see any other reason being remotely valid enough to explore this type of agreement. The Raiders have done virtually everything they could to screw over the Bay Area, and their local fanbase. Why would the Giants help them? To be fair, all they see is dollar signs, which makes their whole “oh our team is so expensive” argument moot.
Yes, the Giants have a very large payroll. Yes the Giants can still afford it. And yes, the Giants could afford to add it and even go over the Luxury Tax limit.
Instead, the Giants are seeking to shop the bargain barrels to scrape up every little bit of value they can for a while. Frankly, when they make obvious cash grab moves, like negotiating with the Raiders over hosting NFL games at their stadium, which they own and see a major part of the profits off of, it makes their whole “we must find value” argument seem pathetic.
The naming rights deal to the Stadium could literally pay for Bryce Harper‘s contract alone. Throw in all the extra money through Bamtech and Disney that the ownerships get, plus all their own and shared revenue, for the Giants to cry poor when they’re in dire need of the best free agent to be available since Alex Rodriguez, it looks terrible. And Giants fans are taking notice.
If the Giants roll what they currently have on the roster out there on opening day, they should probably be prepared to see a lot of green, no not money, empty seats, in 2019. But in reality, they’ll still see plenty of the green they actually care about, regardless. And that might be the most frustrating thing in all of this for the fanbase.