The Las Vegas Raiders have formally declined their option to return to the Oakland Coliseum in 2020, effectively solidifying their plans for next season.
The relocating Raiders are slated to move into Las Vegas’s currently under-construction Allegiant Stadium this year. While a 2020 opening for the venue has been expected for years, the franchise gave itself a contingency last year, when it secured an option to return to Oakland in 2020 as part of drawn-out lease negotiations to use the Coliseum in 2019.
While there have questions about whether the Raiders would exercise the option if Allegiant Stadium fell behind schedule, the team officially made its decision to move on from the Coliseum in a letter to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:
In a one-page letter sent to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, the Raiders said, “We hereby decline to exercise the 2020 option” on their lease to play at the stadium.
There had been talk that the team’s new stadium in Las Vegas was having trouble with its roof and might not be ready by next season.
“We weren’t hearing anything official, so I asked if the Raiders would clarify their plans, and they did,” JPA President Larry Reid said.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board recently stated that Allegiant Stadium’s construction schedule remains on track at this time, even amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Allegiant Stadium has been scheduled to be completed at the end of July and begin hosting the Raiders and UNLV football in their respective 2020 seasons.
As for the Coliseum, the Raiders’ departure marks the end of the NFL’s latest run at the aging facility. Originally opening in 1966, the Coliseum was home to the Raiders from 1966-1981, before the franchise relocated to Los Angeles and later returned for a second stint that ran from 1995-2019.
Notably, with the Raiders officially leaving the Coliseum, there are no longer any active facilities shared by NFL and Major League Baseball franchises. MLB’s Athletics remain at the Coliseum for now, but the team is pursuing a proposed new ballpark at Oakland’s Howard Terminal that it has been aiming to complete in time for the 2023 season. With the Raiders gone and the A’s pursuing a new ballpark, the Coliseum is currently listed on our Endangered Stadiums page.