#8: The Oakland Raiders
The Raiders will play in the NFL next year — they just won’t play in Oakland. The team, founded in 1960, was one of the original members of the AFL and joined the NFL when the leagues merged in 1970. The Raiders won the Super Bowl in 1976, 1980 and 1983, but the team’s track record has been poor over the past decade. The Raiders left Oakland once before, when the franchise worked out a better stadium deal in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1994. Oakland lured the team back with an agreement to add $220 million in improvements to the stadium where the team would play.
One reason the team will leave Oakland again is the financial plans of the new owners. Al Davis had controlling ownership of the team from the 1960s until he died last year. His heirs and several smaller shareholders now control the team. Current team managing owner Mike Davis already has said he may move the Raiders back to LA to get a better stadium deal. The current Oakland stadium contract expires next year. Davis recently told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Yeah, Los Angeles is a possibility. Wherever’s a possibility. We need a stadium.” The Raiders also could move to Santa Clara, where they would share a stadium with the San Francisco 49ers, much as the New York Jets and Giants do.