Oakland city council approves Raiders' lease at Coliseum
OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) - The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a lease agreement that keeps the Oakland Raiders football team playing at the Coliseum for at least one more year.
The council's action follows votes by Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority commissioners last Friday and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to approve the lease agreement.
The votes were important because the National Football League had imposed a deadline for Sunday for the Raiders to find a place to play their home games this fall.
The Raiders plan to move to Las Vegas in the near future but a new football stadium that's being built for them there won't be ready until the fall of 2020 at the earliest.
The Coliseum Authority and the Raiders had reached a tentative agreement for a new lease late last year but it fell apart after the city filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit in December against the Raiders and the National Football League for the move to Las Vegas. The suit is still pending.
It appeared that the Raiders' game against Denver last Dec. 24 would be the team's final game in Oakland and the team explored the possibility of playing this fall at other venues in the Bay Area and
elsewhere, including Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara and Oracle Park in San Francisco.
However, nothing materialized so the Raiders resumed negotiating with the Coliseum Authority earlier this year.
Scott McKibben, the authority's executive director, said after its board meeting on Friday that the lease agreement calls for the rent the Raiders pay to the authority to increase by $4 million this year, from $3.5 million to $7.5 million.
McKibben said if the new stadium in Las Vegas isn't ready by the fall of 2020 and the Raiders need to play in Oakland for a second additional season, the rent will increase even more to $10.5 million.
McKibben said the agreement also calls for the city and county to get all the revenue from the naming rights to the Coliseum if the authority finds a new sponsor for the stadium and for a cap on game-day expenses, which he said can be costly.