Though further discussion will be needed, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum officials sound open to extending the Oakland Raiders‘ stay beyond 2018.
With their move to Las Vegas approved by the NFL earlier this year, the Raiders are now playing out their final seasons in Oakland. The organization and officials are hoping to begin work on the new Las Vegas stadium later this year, and open the facility by the 2020 season.
The Raiders have a guarantee to use the Coliseum through the 2018 season. When their move to Las Vegas was first announced, some local officials did not sound inclined to keep the team around past 2018, but now Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben is showing a willingness to discuss an agreement beyond 2018.
McKibben said that he will wait until the team learns of when construction in Las Vegas will begin before discussing the length of the extension, but says that under the right financial terms officials could consider granting the team a lease extension at the Coliseum. More from The Las Vegas Sun:
“I believe that given the right set of economics, the potential for a lease extension for the time the Raiders would like to stay in Oakland is an open door,” McKibben said. “I can’t underscore enough the fact of ‘given the appropriate economics.’ It will not be the deal that they currently have.”
That reverses course on the Oakland authority’s plans from the days immediately after NFL owners in March approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas beginning in the 2020 season.
McKibben said at the time that the authority loses money hosting Raiders games, generating roughly $7 million in annual revenue while incurring between $8 million and $8.5 million in expenses. The $7 million includes the team’s $3.5 million rent payment.
Regardless of when construction in Las Vegas begins, the Raiders will have to find a home for the 2019 season, as 2020 is the earliest that the new stadium will open. The Coliseum complex in Oakland is undergoing a drastic change, as the Raiders are planning to move to Las Vegas and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors–who play at adjacent Oracle Arena–are slated to open a new arena in San Francisco in 2019. MLB’s Oakland A’s, meanwhile, announced earlier this week that they are seeking to build a new ballpark near Laney College in Oakland.