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December 14, 2017

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Oakland officials seeking nearly $1M in unpaid parking fees from Raiders

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Jeff Chiu / AP

The outside of Oakland Alameda County Coliseum is shown before an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016.

In NFL terms, the Raiders could owe their California landlord roughly the cost of just two rookie salaries in unpaid parking fees.

Yet to the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the overdue $920,000 represents a significant default worth a potential legal battle if the sides cannot settle their disagreement.

Authority officials plan to sit down with Raiders representatives in the next two weeks to discuss the debt they conclude the team still owes for four years of unpaid parking fees. If they cannot agree on a settlement, OACCA executive director Scott McKibben plans to seek mediation — another possible escalation in a tense relationship with the Raiders, who likely will not play in Oakland beyond the 2018 season.

“I’m not taking a $300,000 or $400,000 haircut on (a settlement),” McKibben said. “If that’s the case, we’re going directly to mediation.”

Mediation still might not offer a final resolution. McKibben said the OACCA could pursue legal action against the Raiders if the authority does not agree with the result of that process.

“If I were moving a team to Las Vegas and I was in the midst of a very, very difficult and strident negotiation, and I was trying to prove to my new home, my new city, to the legislators, the university and everyone else that I was a business you can trust and count on, I wouldn’t want all the bad PR that’s going to come with a lawsuit,” McKibben said.

McKibben does not anticipate the outcome of the parking situation would affect the team’s lease status for the 2018 season.

“I don’t know if we’re going to shut the doors and never let them play over $900,000,” McKibben said. “That might be draconian.”

He previously said the authority likely will not extend the team’s lease to cover 2019 because OACCA runs at an operating loss on Raiders games. That would leave the team without a home until its new Las Vegas stadium opens in 2020.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said in April that the team could play its nomad year in Santa Clara, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego or San Antonio. A slim possibility exists that the Raiders could use Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas as a stopgap, but Davis does not like the option.

Last month the Raiders sent the authority $61,000 to reconcile what the team saw as its underpayment. The dispute covers parking fees owed by the Raiders for the 2013-16 seasons under the terms of their lease agreement with the OACCA.

McKibben detailed multiple ways in which the authority believes the Raiders short their payments. In one example, the lease allows the team 750 parking passes per game for general use and another 50 passes for league personnel and referees. If the team needs to practice at the stadium the day prior to a game, it can access another 150 passes.

According to McKibben, the Raiders claimed the additional 150 passes for every game from 2013-16. To use that contingency, though, the passes must be used 24-48 hours prior to the game. McKibben said the Raiders often utilize the passes for players arriving at 10 a.m. for a 1 p.m. kickoff, citing their warmups as practice time. OACCA officials want roughly $240,000 for those passes — $6,000 per game on a 10-game schedule (eight regular-season and two preseason) over four years.

Raiders officials did not return requests for comment.

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