In his press conference in Phoenix following the Raiders’ being approved for relocation to Las Vegas, Mark Davis said both what the team’s plans were and what he hoped would happen with regard to where the Raiders would call home the next three years.
Worst case scenario, they would suffer through a half empty stadium for the 2017 season in Oakland and look for a new home for 2018. Best case scenario the fan support would be there along with the support of Oakland officials to extend their lease so they could play in Oakland thru 2019. That would mean they never take a snap anywhere but the Oakland Coliseum until their shiny new stadium in Las Vegas was ready to move in.
It appears we may be closer to the best case scenario.
While the Raiders have said to have refunded somewhere around 1000 season ticket deposits for 2017, they received enough interest to now have sold out for this season according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That’s a good sign the team could stick it out in Oakland.
Members of the authority, run by Oakland and Alameda County, have been lukewarm to the idea of the Raiders playing in the Coliseum in 2019. They say the stadium loses $1 million a year on Raider games, but ‘keeping the team here means jobs’ for Coliseum workers, board member Chris Dobbins noted.
Due to the cost of operating the stadium, in order for the team to stay an extra season, the new lease would mean a rent increase, according to County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.
“It can’t cost the taxpayers a single cent,” said Haggerty.
It was a rent increase last year following the Raiders’ being turned away in their attempted LA move which Mark Davis has said many times ‘it showed disrespect to the Raiders organization’ and therefore wouldn’t return to the negotiating table with Oakland.
There are still some who are very much opposed the the Raiders playing in Oakland the next three years while they have their sights set on leaving. But there are also those such as Dobbins who are in favor of the team remaining.
A million dollars on top of their current $3.5 million rent to not have the hassle of playing somewhere else for a season seems worth it. And is looking increasingly like a possibility.