Raiders close to completing Coliseum lease for ’19
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders are closing in on an agreement that would have them play the 2019 season at the Oakland Coliseum, with a team option for 2020 as insurance, should the team’s Las Vegas stadium not be ready.
The Coliseum Authority would first have to sign off on the lease extension with the Raiders, a vote that might take place by Friday, before approval is required from both the Oakland city council and Alameda county to make it binding.
Coliseum Authority director Scott McKibben told The Associated Press on Monday that the two sides are having “good, constructive talks,” though there are still details to be worked out before a contract can be brought to the board for approval.
The Raiders, who have been looking for a home for the upcoming season before moving into the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium in Southern Nevada next year, had talks with Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants about playing in their waterfront Oracle Park.
But the San Francisco 49ers own territorial rights and opposed the potential move.
The Raiders initially pulled a $7.5 million lease proposal off the table in the wake of the city of Oakland’s suing the team and the NFL in December over the Las Vegas move. One month earlier, Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN.com he wanted to play 2019 in Oakland, even with the threat of the lawsuit.
“Emotionally, I would say, why would I give them $3 (million), $4 (million), $5 million in rent that they’re going to turn around and use to sue me?” Davis said at the time. “But, at the same time, if they’ll have us, I can’t turn on the fans. I can’t do it. And this is terrible negotiating I’m doing now. I’m going to get killed. But that’s just the way I am. But, if in fact it does get ugly and can’t be bridged, we do have options.”
Besides Oracle Park, those also potentially include the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, though Davis does not care for that option.
While Davis declined to comment on the status of the talks — he has maintained his stance of, “When we’re ready to make the announcement, we will” — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league hoped to know the Raiders’ home for 2019 by early February at the latest for scheduling purposes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.