Discussions about the Oakland Raiders returning to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2019 reportedly hit a snag, raising questions about whether an agreement will move forward.
After a lawsuit by the City of Oakland prompted uncertainty over where the Raiders would play next season and speculation over potential landing spots, it has appeared that the team could strike an agreement to return to the Coliseum. The potential lease would allow the team to play 2019 home games there, with a 2020 option providing the club with a contingency in the event that construction of its new Las Vegas stadium falls behind schedule.
The Raiders have been negotiating lease terms with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. While the two sides are reportedly close to a final Oakland Coliseum lease agreement, the authority revealed on Wednesday that the negotiations had hit a snag over a major issue. Work is still underway to finalize a deal, but it was cautioned that the outstanding issue could put the agreement in jeopardy. More from The Mercury News:
While stadium authority Executive Director Scott McKibben said the deal is “95 percent there,” he said the sides are stuck on one issue, and it’s possible the Raiders and the Coliseum won’t be able to come to an agreement before Tuesday’s deadline. McKibben wouldn’t reveal details of what he called the “significant” remaining issue, but sources say it relates to the team’s training facility and headquarters in Alameda.
The Raiders brought the issue to McKibben’s attention on Friday, a setback after officials said talks were progressing. Team executives did not return messages sent Wednesday.
“This could very likely put us in a position where there’s not a deal,” McKibben said after a closed-session meeting in which he updated his board on the negotiations. “It’s going to be one of those, ‘Yes, we (the Raiders) are willing to try and resolve this,’ or, ‘No, we feel firmly about this and we are not going to do it’ (and) the deal blows up.”
The Raiders have essentially agreed to a deal that would have them paying $7.5 million in rent to play in Oakland in 2019. If the team stays in 2020, rent jumps to $10.5 million. That’s triple what the team paid last season.
Uncertainty over the team’s 2019 home arose after the City of Oakland filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL in December, prompting speculation that the Raiders could play their home slate elsewhere. However, it had appeared in more recent weeks that the team could strike an agreement to return to the Coliseum.