Mark Davis is looking for a sign, an omen, a hint -- just about anything he can take as a potential turning point in the Raiders' urgent search for a new stadium.
He has been waiting a long time. He has gotten frustrated; he has taken a look at several alternate sites, including one in Concord not long ago.
But in a phone conversation Wednesday night, the Raiders owner sounded as optimistic as I've ever heard him -- about his football team's progress on the field this season and mostly about Oakland's humongous Coliseum City idea.
On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council approved the addition of several major potential investors in the project, which was cheered by Raiders fans on hand.
And definitely by the Raiders owner, to me Wednesday.
"I want to see what happens from here, but maybe it's a ray of hope and sunshine," Davis said.
"That was a positive step last night."
Davis said he doesn't want to negotiate any stadium project deal in the newspaper and knows there are many, many hurdles to any project -- especially one as grand as the three-team Coliseum City idea.
And he said he'll know a lot more in the coming weeks.
But I took four clear thoughts away from my talk with Davis:
1) Though he toured the Concord land, Davis is emotionally and practically tethered to the Coliseum site.
"I looked at it," Davis said of his recent visit to the decommissioned Concord Naval Weapons Station. "It's there. It's a possibility. But I absolutely love the site we're on now.
"If in fact we get something done in the Bay Area, I think it's going to be on that (Coliseum) site. That's what I'm pushing for."
For similar reasons, Davis bypassed a chance to share the 49ers' new Santa Clara stadium. If the Raiders stay in the Bay Area, Davis wants them on the Coliseum site.
2) The Raiders' most recent lease extension with the Coliseum expires after this season, and Davis wants any new extension to include tangible steps toward a Coliseum rebuild/redo.
3) It's probable that Davis will conclude that the Coliseum City idea is the last real shot at his preferred site, and he likes that they've brought in some new financial movers and shakers.
"The Coliseum City concept is a great concept," Davis said. "It's got a lot of moving parts.
"But with a couple of the people they've brought in, they have some momentum to it."
On Tuesday, the City Council approved new potential investors -- led by Dubai-based financier Rashid Al Malik -- and extended the group's exclusive negotiating period on the project.
Of course, the Coliseum City idea includes proposed new buildings for the A's and Warriors, too -- and both teams have announced desires to build new stadiums outside of Oakland.
That is an enormous complication.
I have no idea if the Coliseum City idea could be reduced to simply a new stadium for the Raiders, I don't know if the money is there for any of it, and I don't think Davis knows, either.
4) My conclusion: This is essentially the last go at this for Davis in the Bay Area.
If the Coliseum City idea doesn't work, then the likeliest scenario is for Davis to sign some sort of short extension with the Coliseum and then take a hard look moving back to Los Angeles.
Or to seek out major new team investors to either figure out another Bay Area solution or move the team wherever it can get the best deal.
That would change the shape of the Raiders ownership -- and it might not be avoidable, unless the Coliseum City project becomes a viable option, in some form.
Until then, Davis is looking and waiting. And obviously the clock is ticking.
Davis said someone asked him to check the Concord site, and Davis said he liked a lot of it -- especially the BART access -- and was struck by the attitude of the officials in charge.
It's just not where he expects or wants to end up.
"Concord was a suggestion by somebody, that I should take a look, so I took a look at it," Davis said.
"It wasn't a leverage thing -- don't do that kind of stuff. It was to gather information ...
"We've got to get something done, we really do. And we will."
Which leads everything back to the Coliseum City idea, maybe Davis' last tangible Bay Area option on the table, and the first ray of light in awhile.