OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A new report suggests the Oakland Raiders could be leaving the Bay Area sooner than we thought. By that we mean this could be their last season at the Coliseum before they head to Las Vegas.
The exclusive comes from San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross. In it, they report Oakland City Council has approved a multi-million dollar antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL) and the Raiders for their upcoming move to Vegas.
Councilman Noel Gallo was quoted as saying he expects the lawsuit seeking damages to be announced within days. KTVU has reached out to Councilman Gallo and is waiting to hear back.
Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Executive Director Scott McKibben confirmed to KTVU that the Raiders organization have told him they are not interested in extending their lease at the Coliseum and that they started discussing the matter in February. McKibben has been working with the team on their potential lease extension.
"These things take time. We were very close; exchanging drafts on [a] proposed lease extension for 2019 and an option for 2020," McKibben said. An extended lease in Oakland is pending the timeline for construction of the Las Vegas stadium.
"They made it very clear to me that if in fact the city proceeded with a lawsuit against the Raiders and the league related to the relocation that they would not be doing any extension of the lease. They would find another place to play in 2019 and 2020," McKibben said, having communicated this to the Coliseum Authority's board during their last meeting in August.
Two Oakland city council members are on that board. There are also two members who are appointed by city council.
The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority, also known as a joint powers agency, wants the Raiders to stay in Oakland for as long as possible, but say they want a lease that financially works for them and keeps the Raiders for two more years.
According to the Chronicle, Gallo predicts the lawsuit would result in damages of up to $500 million.
This is a developing story.
KTVU's Sami Mamou contributed to this report