The Oakland Raiders are not considering UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium as a possible home venue for 2019, meaning the club will not arrive in Las Vegas until its new stadium is complete.
The Raiders are currently playing out the final season of their lease at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. While the team has engaged in discussions with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority about a possible renewal, there are some uncertainties surrounding its status in Oakland, including the threat of an antitrust lawsuit by the city against the team and the NFL.
With the new, $1.8 billion Las Vegas Stadium not expected to be completed until 2020, the Raiders could need another home for at least 2019 if an extended Coliseum lease cannot be secured. It remains to be seen whether the team will need a contingency, but Sam Boyd Stadium is reportedly not viewed as an option. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Sam Boyd Stadium is not considered a contingency site for home games in 2019 should the franchise’s lease with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum not be extended, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The lease is due to expire after this season.
Since early 2017, club officials have expressed a strong desire to stay in Oakland until their scheduled 2020 relocation to Las Vegas. Despite threats from Oakland to file an antitrust lawsuit against the league and team, the Raiders’ timeline to Southern Nevada has not accelerated.
Reluctantly, contingency sites are being considered. None is in Las Vegas.
Sam Boyd Stadium is the only plausible temporary home in the Las Vegas area, but it would likely present some challenges. It is an aging facility–having first opened in 1971–and would likely require significant upgrades to host the NFL, even on a temporary basis. Sam Boyd Stadium is currently home to UNLV’s football program, but UNLV will join the Raiders at the new Las Vegas Stadium once its opens.
Image courtesy UNLV Football.
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