By Sam McPherson

This weekend’s home game for the Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum—against the surging Buffalo Bills—might be the Silver & Black’s last contest in the East Bay, as the team still does not have a lease to play anywhere in 2015.

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According to NFL.com, Raiders owner Mark Davis wants to stay in Oakland, but the situation is complicated (of course)—and tricky, because the Coliseum is the only professional sporting venue still shared by both an MLB and an NFL team. The Athletics have signed to stay for another ten years, but the Raiders want their own facility.

If the organization does indeed move to Los Angeles or San Antonio in the new year, the legacy left behind in Oakland will be a tale of two eras: one mostly successful (1960-1981) and one mostly unsuccessful (1995-2014).

Why the Raiders Should Go

There’s an argument to be made that Oakland just isn’t a major-league city anymore. San Jose has surpassed both cities joined by the Bay Bridge as the largest in the area, and even the hitherto sad-sack Golden State Warriors are fleeing to San Francisco (finally) where they originally were in the 1960s and 1970s.

Oh, Oakland may have its up-and-coming urban appeal according to some, but in terms of being a viable professional sports market, the city has been lacking in the modern era. No new facilities have hurt, of course, and Oakland is the ugly stepchild of the Bay Area in comparison to San Francisco and San Jose.

Sadly, the old cliché still haunts the city: There just is no “there” there. And truthfully, one has to ask if the city would even miss the team.

Why the Raiders Should Stay

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Oakland was the birthplace of the Raiders, of course, back in 1960. For a brief moment, the team was even going to be called the Oakland Señors. The team’s roots are in this community, despite its short fling with Los Angeles. That’s why the team came back.

And if the Warriors and the A’s move away, the Silver & Black would have a whole city to itself—somewhat like what San Antonio has going now with the NBA’s Spurs franchise. There’s an appeal to that: Let the other teams flee to “greener” pastures. Having a unique relationship with the municipality has its advantages.

Finally, the team could be ready to bounce back from the abyss it’s been occupying for the last decade-plus. It would be a shame to see that happen somewhere else.

Best Guess

The NFL needs a team in Los Angeles; they don’t need one in Oakland. It’s just very strange that the huge market in Southern California has been without a team for 20 years. Plus, as noted, for whatever reason, the Silver & Black just seem more identifiable with Los Angeles—as unpopular of an opinion that may be in Oakland. 

But winning matters, and the Raiders just haven’t won much in 20 years back at the Coliseum. Perhaps it’s just time to change their karmic mojo. Heading back to Los Angeles could make that happen for the organization as they look to rebuild around some talented young players on both sides of the ball.

For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.

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Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering all things Oakland A’s. His work can be found on a Examiner.com.