[toc]Even though the move is still years away, plenty of peopl in Las Vegas already think of the NFL Raiders as “their” team. Those fans might not be happy to hear the move to Sin City might take even longer than originally expected.
Raiders might stay in Oakland through 2020
News coming out of the Bay Area is that Raiders leadership is talking about extending their lease at Oakland Coliseum through 2020, if possible.
Currently the team is guaranteed to be there for this season and the 2018 season. For 2019, the curent situation is that the team technically has nowhere to play. The new stadium in Vegas will still be under construction, while the current lease in Oakland will be up.
So, in the discussion about coovering the team’s bases for 2019, the idea of extending it through 2020 came up as well.
“For sure we are talking about a one-year extension and there’s a real likelihood we could be talking about two years,” Raiders General Manage Scott McKibbon told the SF Chronicle.
In the current arrangement, the team pays $3.5 million in rent, then splits proceeds from concessions, parking and so on with the city, which owns the stadium.
The hope is to strike up a similar deal for at least 2019. Given who they are working with though, that might be overly optimistic. Plenty of people in Oakland were not happy with the Raiders choosing to leave town. One such person is Oakland Council President Larry Reid, who was very clear with the Chronicle about how he felt about the situation:
“The NFL and the Raiders totally disrespected the city of Oakland and Raiders fans. If the Raiders are gone, they’re gone. I don’t want anything to do with them.”
How would this effect the bottom line in Vegas?
The only reason Raiders management is talking about 2020 with Oakland is fear the new stadum will not be ready by then. Considering construction on the $1.9 billion facility is not underway yet, that is a fair concern.
At the most recent Stadium Authority meeting, the group argued over the community plan. Topics like how many small businesses the Raiders contract for construction and diversity hiring practices drew intense debate.
Next month, the group hopes to establish an authority agreement allowing for some construction on the site. The Raiders still owns the stadium land, so the team would be liable for insurance on any projects.
These plans are not exactly behind schedule. The plan currently is ground breaking on the site shortly after Thanksgiving. The contingency plan is more a precaution than anything else.
However, the team had to prove the stadium would bring a certain amount of revenue to get the stadium plan okayed in the first place. The city upped the resort fees at Las Vegas casinos in order to help fund the $750 million it is putting towards the project.
That $750 million figure is the largest investment ever by a city in an NFL stadium project. Unsurprisingly many people were quite critical of the deal. To potentially eliminate a year of tourism revenue off the team could be a huge problem.
The good news for now is that it seems the team is just covering its bases. Let’s just hope the Raiders and the city can stay on schedule.
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