UPDATE: As of Monday night, The Raiders and the Coliseum Authority reached an agreement for the team to remain in Oakland for at least the 2019 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Sources say the deal could be wrapped up and presented to the board as early as Friday.
While the Raiders’ new Las Vegas stadium is under construction, the team is unsure about where it will play this year, but reports show they may be able to stay in their home city of Oakland for two more years.
Last year, the team announced it would move from Oakland, their home of 23 years, to a 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. However, the stadium will not be complete for another year, and the team doesn’t have a lease to play anywhere for the 2019 season. While season ticket holders already began placing deposits for 2020, the team hasn’t sold seats for this year yet.
Fans felt in limbo as the Raiders reportedly started calling season ticket holders, noting that they will “stay in touch.” In December, team owner Mark Davis said the team has a “number of options.”
As of last week, however, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Raiders are close to wrapping-up a deal that would allow them to continue playing at the Oakland Coliseum this year and even 2020, if necessary. According to sources close to the talks, an announcement is expected early this week.
The Raiders would pay $7.5 million in rent to stay in Oakland under the proposed deal, and if they decide to stay through 2020, the rent would rise to $10.5 million. At first, the team declined a $7.5 million lease extension at the Coliseum after the city joined others in a suit seeking millions in damages for the team’s move to Las Vegas.
Davis didn’t want to play in a city that was suing him, and looked for a stadium elsewhere. The Raiders were reportedly in talks with the English soccer club Tottenham to use their stadium. Additionally, it was rumored that they could play at the Giants’ stadium in San Francisco or share Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers, yet both deals would have cost more than Oakland’s original offering, the Chronicle reports.
A source with knowledge of the talks told the Chronicle that they “could have stuck it to them, but instead [Oakland] kept the same deal on the table” that the team originally walked away from.
The 2019 NFL season is set to kick-off on September 5.