The wildfires in California could force the hand of the NFL and make them move the Raiders-Chargers game this Sunday.
Although many California residents have far bigger issues going on right now, the NFL is contemplating not playing the Raiders game in Oakland this week. It’s easy to understand why this may need to happen. Oakland is dealing with smoke and other effects from the fires that are degrading the air quality. Not only is it unsafe for the players and staffs from both teams, it’s obviously unsafe for any of the fans that could make it to the game. This comes from Mike Signora, who is the vice president of football communications, per ESPN:
“We continue to monitor air quality conditions in the Bay Area and are in close communication with both the Raiders and Chargers, as well as local authorities,” Signora said. “At this point, the game remains scheduled for Sunday in Oakland.”
The big question is where could the NFL move the game to? One option is said to be Levi’s stadium in San Francisco. This would make a lot of sense. The 49ers are out on the road and the stadium is already equipped to handle an NFL game. The transition would be smooth on the logistical side of things.
The other quite interesting option is San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has offered up Qualcomm Stadium. It would be sort of an ironic twist that the Raiders would have to play a “home” game in San Diego directly after the Chargers left. It certainly doesn’t seem like that will happen, per the San Diego Union-Tribune.
According to multiple reports, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said on a conference call that the game is still scheduled to be played in Oakland, but the league has a contingency plan in case it has to be moved. He won’t say where but “I would expect it to be an NFL stadium.” That would appear to rule out San Diego.
There’s plenty of bigger issues going on in the Oakland area right now. However, Raiders fans could have clarity very soon on if their team will have a home game this week or not.