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Coliseum Authority OKs Raiders lease to play in Oakland

Updated March 15, 2019 - 6:42 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Coliseum Authority unanimously approved a lease agreement Friday authorizing the Raiders to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this season and possibly next year, a decision all but solving the months-long dilemma over the NFL club’s 2019 home.

The Raiders are scheduled to relocate to Las Vegas in 2020.

The lease, which commits the Raiders to pay $7.5 million in 2019 rent with a $10.5 million team option for 2020, now advances to the final public approval stages. The Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors are expected to vote on the document next week.

No complications are anticipated there, said Scott McKibben, executive director of the Coliseum Authority. He cited precedent with past unanimous Coliseum Authority decisions.

“We’re delighted to have this finally done and approved and behind us,” McKibben said following the 7-0 result. “I want to thank the board, and additionally, I want to extend a great hand of thanks to (Raiders) president Marc Badain and his owner, Mark Davis, for working with us in an admittedly difficult situation.”

Last year, negotiations to extend their Oakland lease into 2019 stalled when the city of Oakland filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 of its member clubs, claiming the Raiders’ move to Southern Nevada was illegal. This litigation does not impact the move itself, but it prompted Davis to scour alternative sites before committing to Oakland once more.

From San Diego to London, this search sparked fans’ imaginations on where the Raiders might play,

Ultimately, venues closest to the team’s headquarters in Alameda garnered the most serious consideration. In February, talks between the Raiders and McKibben resumed.

According to the lease, the Raiders must determine no later than by April 1, 2020, whether they will exercise their option to stay in Oakland for the 2020 season. This option exists to provide the franchise an insurance policy should construction on a $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas incur a delay.

Development remains on schedule, stadium and team officials have said.

The Raiders will pay $4 million more in rent this season than in 2018. The $7.5 million price tag includes usage of the team facility in Alameda. Rent will drop by $500,000 if the franchise moves a home preseason game this August away from the Coliseum. The team has explored that scenario, including an exhibition in Canada.

More Raiders: Follw at reviewjournal.com/Raidersand@NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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