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Raiders must complete lease for Las Vegas stadium this month or risk pushing opening to 2021

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The Las Vegas Stadium Authority last week revealed a timeline that was one of the more ambitious you’ll see, giving them just 30 months to constructed the 65,000-seat domed stadium prior to the team moving in for the 2020 season.

In order even to keep that schedule, things must move quickly without many delays. They purchased the land upon which the stadium is to sit, and the next up on the agenda is completing a lease agreement for the stadium which they have been given a little over a week to resolve in order to have it ready for the NFL owners meeting on May 22 in Chicago.

Should the Raiders not have a conditional lease in place by that meeting, Raiders president Marc Badain said there is a “distinct possibility” the opening of the stadium will be pushed back to 2021, delaying it a full year.

“In order to approve a lease, you need full membership, and the league has four meetings a year: one in March, one in May, one in October and one in December,” Badain said after a public meeting of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board via AP report. “So, if you miss the May deadline, you push to October, we would lose a year, and everybody wants to get this project going everybody wants to get these guys to work. So we didn’t want to miss that deadline.”

There has been another meeting scheduled between the Raiders and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority on May 18 at which the two sides hope to agree to the terms ahead of the owners meeting.

When the Raiders relocation bid was initially approved by the NFL in late March, owner Mark Davis said he planned on playing in Oakland for the next two years and hopefully three. Should this lease not be completed in time, we could be looking at four years.

Even saying that, Davis was leaving open the possibility the team could leave Oakland earlier depending on the response by the fans as well as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. Should they choose to leave early or be forced out, they would have a few potential options, with perhaps the most logical being making UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium a temporary home.