Oakland still waiting for Raiders to come back to the table

OAKLAND — The Raiders don’t seem to be any closer to reaching an agreement to play the 2019 season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Oakland officials continue to wait on team officials to resume discussions about playing one more season in the East Bay even as the current lease is about to expire.

“Our offer is still on the table,” Coliseum Stadium Authority executive director Scott McKibben said this week. “We are willing to continue talking if the Raiders would like to.”

In other words, the parties are not talking despite recent reports suggesting otherwise.

The latest development came just as Tucson, Arizona, and Birmingham, Alabama, expressed interest in playing host to Raiders games this year, according to reports Tuesday.

Raiders owner Mark Davis withdrew from Coliseum negotiations in December after city officials filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the team over the franchise’s move to Las Vegas that was approved in 2017. The sides had been discussing a proposed $7.5 million lease extension that would have allowed the Raiders to use the stadium this year.

McKibben and Oakland might need to resolve the issue soon with the lease expiring Wednesday. If the professional football team plays elsewhere the Oakland-Alameda County-owned facility would be able to fill the 10 gameday dates with other events.

McKibben plans to update the stadium authority board on the situation during a closed session Friday at the group’s scheduled meeting.

Raiders executives did not immediately respond to requests to discuss their plans.

Oakland, which has played at the Coliseum since 1995, plans to move into a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat Las Vegas stadium that is expected to open in 2020. But it has yet to secure a stadium for this year’s eight regular-season home games and two preseason games because of the legal dispute with East Bay officials.

The Raiders had turned to the Giants’ Oracle Park, but those plans recently fell apart when the 49ers did not grant the NFL neighbors territorial rights to the city that bears their name.

That seemed to leave the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and Levi’s Stadium as Davis’ only Bay Area choices.

But what about the region’s three Division-1 football colleges? For a variety of reasons, each is a long shot — or in the case of UC Berkeley, no shot at all.

Cal officials have an agreement with Strawberry Canyon residents to prohibit NFL games from being played at Memorial Stadium — even though the school could use the money to help pay down a $440 million debt stemming from renovations.

At 50,000 seats, Stanford Stadium is a possibility but school officials have yet to talk to the Raiders, according to Ray Purpur, deputy athletic director. He did not dismiss the idea even though

Raiders owner Mark Davis has not indicated where his team will play in 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

the 49ers also own territorial rights to Palo Alto.

“It’s hard to coordinate two teams in one stadium but certainly is done,” Purpur said in an …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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