The lease is up to the O.Co Coliseum after this year which means there is no agreement in place for the Raiders to play there anymore after this season. We all already know that but the fact still remains unsettled. Keeping the Raiders in Oakland now has a time limit and Mark Davis is reminding the city of the clock while talking to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.
Mark said it was a very good possibility that the Raiders would be playing at the Coliseum next year but that he hasn't started negotiating a new lease despite talks being on going. He also said he understands that playing in the Coliseum means playing on the dirt because of the Oakland Athletics also sharing the stadium and that has to be fine because that was the agreement already in place.
Then Davis confirmed that sharing the stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers was probably out of the question to him. Not every Raider fan is against the idea to share the stadium with the Niners but it definitely is not a popular option so eliminating it as an option should be well received. You might be able to cross off the Santa Clara stadium as an option for the Raiders, but that doesn't mean that the Raiders will definitely be in the Coliseum next year either.
Even though Mark was quick to dismiss the 49ers stadium as an option for next year he was not nearly so quick as to dismiss the University of California's stadium in Berkeley as a short term option. It has drawbacks like a lack of parking and transportation but Mark couldn't deny that it was a possibility for a short term solution.
"Sure. I mean, if they’d want us. We’ve done it before. There’s some… things about Berkeley that wouldn’t be optimal–the parking and all of that stuff is always tough.' But at the same time, it’s if (there’s a need to play elsewhere for a while) for a new stadium… and we like Berkeley. I think what they’ve done with the new stadium is great."
The "if" that Mark Davis pointed out there is a really important one to notice. For the Raiders to need to look for a short term solution it would take a new stadium agreement in place in Oakland first. Now that agreement could be a new stadium or maybe a rebuilt Coliseum with the substantial updates included but it would need to be set for the Raiders to seek a short term answer while the construction begins.
That short term solution wouldn't be needed if the Raiders were to, let's say, move to LA. If you were really hoping that idea wasn't in Mark's mind at all then you would be sorely mistaken. Mark wants a permanent solution and he has the leverage of LA to make it happen. Now he has officially used that leverage after he was asked if LA is on his mind as a possibility for a permanent site.
"Always. An opportunity for us to get a new stadium is always on my mind. Oakland is first, OK? That’s all I can say."
Consider the gauntlet thrown people! The City of Oakland needs to make a move now because the Raiders definitely could move out of town if its not settled soon. Mark will not be signing a multi-year lease without a new agreement in place, and the LA stadium will not be an option forever without a team signing on. Just look at how Mr. Davis responded when asked if he would be frustrated if he spent another 5 years with the current Coliseum if you don't think this has come to a head.
"I don’t see how that could happen. But yeah, it obviously would be frustrating. It just doesn’t make sense, for anybody."
Your turn Oakland, the Raiders will not wait forever.