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49ers open to Raiders groundshare – report

The San Francisco 49ers would allow rival NFL team the Oakland Raiders to play at Levi’s Stadium for one season ahead of the latter’s move to a new stadium in Las Vegas, according to a report.

The Raiders will move into a new state-of-the-art stadium in Las Vegas next year. The team is currently without a home venue for its final regular-season campaign in California after opting to withdraw a lease proposal to continue playing at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Raiders were in talks to play home games at Oracle Park, home of Major League Baseball team the San Francisco Giants.

The 49ers, however, hold territorial rights to San Francisco and according to NBC Sports Bay Area the team will not waive these rights to allow the Raiders to play at Oracle Park.

The report adds that the 49ers would be willing to work with the Raiders on a ground-share arrangement for Levi’s Stadium (pictured), which is located in Santa Clara. NBC Sports Bay Area, citing a source familiar with the matter, said the 49ers have an offer on the table for the Raiders to play at Levi’s Stadium for one season.

London Breed, the Mayor of San Francisco, is also against the idea of the Raiders playing in the city. League bylaws prevent the 49ers from playing in Oakland and the Raiders from playing in San Francisco unless the other team waives its rights.

There remains a possibility that the Raiders could play their 2019 regular-season campaign in Oakland but this would appear unlikely given the team’s current relationship with the city.

The Raiders opted to withdraw from the lease proposal for the Coliseum after the City of Oakland filed a federal antitrust and breach of contract lawsuit against the NFL, the Raiders and each of the other 31 NFL clubs, claiming compensation for the “cartel” actions that have led to its home franchise relocating to a new stadium in Las Vegas.

Raiders owner Mark Davis remains calm despite the uncertainty surrounding the team’s home for the 2019 season.

“I’m not frustrated,” Davis said in a phone interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper. “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.”

Davis added: “The thing is, we haven’t been the ones talking at all. 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.”

Image: Travis Wise