It’s well known that the current NBA champion San Antonio Spurs are a beloved by the San Antonio community. Not only have they delivered 5 NBA titles to the city, but the organization goes about its business in a way that allows the citizens of San Antonio to feel as if they’re part of the team. Long story short: the Spurs are the darlings of San Antonio.
Being the darlings of San Antonio has allowed the Spurs to quietly amass a great deal of power and privilege. Power and privilege that the Spurs can tap into if and when they need it.
So when the San Antonio Express-News reported that Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis had met with San Antonio officials to explore the potential of moving the Raiders to San Antonio, the Spurs organization felt that it just may be time to tap into its power.
According to a separate report by the Express-News, the Spurs organization is very much against the Raiders moving to San Antonio “as they are currently structure” (more on that later).
SAN ANTONIO — In the wake of Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis’ whirlwind tour of San Antonio, sources with knowledge of the visit said Spurs Sports & Entertainment would be against the Raiders, as they are currently structured, relocating to South Texas.
So what we reportedly have here is an instance where the darlings of San Antonio have decided to put their foot down. Unless, the Raiders are structured in a manner that suits them. And when I say a “manner that suits them”, what I’m really saying is that the Spurs organization wants full control of the San Antonio Raiders.
The solution, Amato said, would be for SS&E (the holding company of the Spurs) to have controlling interest in the Raiders or perhaps any other major league franchise that wanted to move to San Antonio.
“I would be more excited about the Oakland Raiders moving to San Antonio if the Spurs ownership group had the possibility of purchasing the team,” said [Spurs shareholder Charlie] Amato, chairman and co-founder of Southwest Business Corp.
Amato said that if SS&E controlled the Raiders, it would ensure that the football club would be well run by a management team that has proven marketing success in a challenging environment. A template would be available in the form of Tom Benson’s ownership in New Orleans of the NFL’s Saints and the NBA’s Pelicans.
“We have developed a successful culture under the leadership of Peter Holt and have 20- to 25-year employees who have the ability to manage both franchises and help lower the overall cost of running an NFL team,” Amato said.
“(The Spurs’ control) would make it more affordable and more appealing to the San Antonio market. … We are blessed with a great ownership group in which we park our egos at the door when we have our meetings, and Peter never abuses (us) by shoving things down our throats. I have been in other minority situations with other groups where it was a nightmare.”
A Spurs-controlled NFL team would also ensure that the football club would be culturally compatible with the NBA power, Amato said.
So just as they have quietly amassed power in San Antonio, it’s pretty clear that the Spurs ownership group will either quietly turn the Raiders away or quietly buy a NFL franchise that will play its homes games in San Antonio. It’s good to be the darlings.