A Las Vegas stadium is clearly on the mind of the Oakland Raiders, but that has not prevented discussions about keeping the team in Oakland.
Talks have accelerated over the last few weeks for a new Las Vegas stadium, as a site, cost, and funding model are on the table for review by the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. It is that group’s task to deliver a recommendation to Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, which is likely to trigger further discussion about whether $750 million in public funds–raised by an increased hotel tax–should be allotted to the $1.9 billion project.
In the midst of this, Raiders owner Mark Davis filed the trademark for the Las Vegas Raiders. Should efforts in Las Vegas fall through, however, there might be a plan to keep the team in Oakland. Oakland City Pro Football Group, which includes Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, is attempting to purchase the O.Co/Oracle Coliseum property from the City of Oakland and Alamdeda County. Under this proposal, a new-football only stadium would be constructed on the site, which may also see additional development if the Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors move on to other facilities.
Oakland has little in the way of financial resources to commit funds to a new stadium. However, local officials are expressing some optimism that the right pieces are falling into place should the Raiders increase their interest in Oakland. More from the Mercury News:
An appraisal of the publicly owned Coliseum site is underway, with the potential for the county to sell off its share, Oakland Councilman Larry Reid said. City leaders have viewed the A’s increased interest in Howard Terminal near Jack London Square as a way to make the Coliseum site more attractive to the Raiders, while satisfying the city’s baseball team with a waterfront location.
Getting the Raiders, A’s and city on the same page has been one of the biggest challenges, longtime sports executive Andy Dolich said recently.
“Everybody seems to have a veto position against someone else,” Dolich said. “That creates to me the greatest hurdle in this process. You never seem to see all three entities talking as one.”
For now, the Raiders have a one-year lease to play in Oakland, with options to extend for two additional seasons.
The A’s recently toured the Howard Terminal location, which is favored by many in Oakland as the site for a new ballpark but comes with some question marks. Given that talks of a two-facility solution at the Coliseum/Oracle Arena location do not appear to be on the table, it would seem that selling the A’s on this location is a big priority for the city.
Another option for the Raiders may be to share a new Englewood stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, though that depends on a variety of factors, including whether the Chargers remain in San Diego.