Have we lost our minds, San Antonio? Two days after elected officials effectively killed VIA Metropolitan Transit's modern streetcar project amid considerable taxpayer opposition, some civic and business leaders are now fantasizing about San Antonio becoming the new home to the Oakland Raiders. The delusion, of course, is being driven by media hype.
In case you missed the stories, let me help you catch up. The Express-News broke the story, reporting that Henry Cisneros and other local officials met recently with Raiders owner Mark Davis, who is unhappy that Oakland has not built a new stadium for the team. I subscribe to the tablet edition of the Express-News, which gives me all digital access, so your print edition or digital access might offer different stories at different times. The Express-News floated the rumor on page one Wednesday: "Los Raiders just might play here" was the headline. The newspaper's digital archive dates the story late Tuesday night with an even stronger headline: "S.A may be home of Los Raiders." I assume local television sportscasters also went insane. I say assume because I wasn't watching.
By Thursday, the belated – but necessary – dose of truth in advertising made its way into the coverage as the newspaper started the slow process of undermining its own day one hype.
Give it another few days, and we'll read all about Oakland and the Raiders patching things up. Local boosters will say we learn a little bit more each time we get duped. Let's be ready for the next one.
Here's a more accurate headline: "Zero Chance Oakland Raiders Are Moving to San Antonio."
Here are five reasons why:
1. San Antonio does not have an NFL-quality stadium. How many people would like to help build a $1 billion NFL football stadium with 100-plus corporate hospitality suites? Where would we put it? Oh, right where the Alamodome sits – after we knock it down. Let's ask the police and fire unions to take a smaller benefits package while we line up to meet Mark Davis.
2. San Antonio doesn't have the corporate base to support an NFL franchise. More than 100 suites? We run out of big employers real fast, and some of our companies – H-E-B and Rackspace come to mind – don't go all ga-ga throwing millions at corporate suites in sports facilities.
3. Dallas Cowboy Jerry Jones is the state's resident big boy bully. He isn't letting anyone else into the Texas sandbox he shares with the Houston Texans.
4. San Antonio is happy with the five-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs – although we are unhappy with the stupid decision to place the publicly funded AT&T Center in the industrial corridor of the Eastside where it has led to zero economic or community development while robbing downtown of a major asset. Last time that will happen.
5. San Antonio has a reputation out there in the world of professional sports, where most owners act like rich, spoiled kids who can't get enough of two things: attention and other people's money. We are known for making ourselves available to whomever comes along – no marriage proposal necessary, thank you, just come on over for a good time and a couple of nights on the River Walk. We make it easy for all those spoiled owners to threaten to end their hometown relationships in favor of a fling with San Antonio. In the end, they go back home. They never call back. They don't even text. Don't fall for Mark Davis, San Antonio. He's already left town.
*Featured/top image: Oakland Raiders' helmet. Photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders.