The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority has signed off on a return of the Oakland Raiders for 2019, approving a lease that includes the upcoming season.
After the City of Oakland filed an antitrust lawsuit against the team and the NFL in December, there was uncertainty over where the Raiders would play the 2019 season. Considerable speculation surfaced that–without a lease for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum beyond 2018–the Raiders could play their home games elsewhere next season, but it has recently appeared that the team could strike an agreement to return to the Coliseum.
With its vote on Friday, the authority gave its approval to the Raiders coming back to the venue for the upcoming season. Under the terms of the agreement, the Raiders will return for the 2019 campaign and receive an option for 2020–which effectively serves as a contingency in case construction of their new Las Vegas stadium falls behind schedule. The Raiders’ 2019 lease agreement will now go before the Oakland City Council and Alameda County supervisors for final consideration. More from The Mercury News:
The Coliseum Stadium Authority board at its Friday meeting voted unanimously to approve the lease extension.
The Raiders will pay $7.5 million, plus $750,000 they owe from previous parking fees to play nine home games in Oakland where they have a devoted fan base. The rent would increase to $10.5 million if the team exercises an option year, a provision added in case construction in Las Vegas stalls. As part of the agreement, the team pays $525,000 for the practice facility and is allowed to continue using it for 36 months after relocating to Las Vegas.
The agreement also includes an option to stay for the 2020 season in case the Raiders’ new $1.84 billion, 62,228-seat stadium in Las Vegas isn’t ready next year. If that happens, the rent would increase to $10.5 million. The Raiders also won’t get to share naming rights revenue in 2019 if the Coliseum finds a corporate sponsor, according to a source with knowledge of the terms.
Oakland City Council and Alameda County supervisors still need to approve the deal.
As noted, the 2020 option provides a contingency for the Raiders if construction in Las Vegas falls behind schedule, and it effectively assures that the uncertainty that has surrounded their 2019 home schedule will not be repeated next year. However, most indications out of Las Vegas are that construction is proceeding on schedule.