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October 21, 2017

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Raiders could remain at Oakland stadium in 2019 after all

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Oakland Coliseum / AP

This Feb. 5, 2016, file photo shows the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.

The Raiders might not end up nomads in 2019 after all.

Scott McKibben, executive director of Oakland’s stadium authority, said today he would be willing to negotiate a lease extension with the Raiders for the 2019 season and beyond at the Coliseum, if necessary.

“I believe that given the right set of economics, the potential for a lease extension for the time the Raiders would like to stay in Oakland is an open door,” McKibben said. “I can’t underscore enough the fact of ‘given the appropriate economics.’ It will not be the deal that they currently have.”

That reverses course on the Oakland authority’s plans from the days immediately after NFL owners in March approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas beginning in the 2020 season.

McKibben said at the time that the authority loses money hosting Raiders games, generating roughly $7 million in annual revenue while incurring between $8 million and $8.5 million in expenses. The $7 million includes the team’s $3.5 million rent payment.

“I don’t believe so, no,” McKibben said in March of a Raiders lease extension. “More important than anything, we want to be able to move on and make plans with either the A’s on that property or utilization of that building for other kinds of events or that land for some other kind of development.”

McKibben declined to detail what might change in a new arrangement because he has not yet spoken to Raiders officials.

The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority also continues to seek close to $1 million in unpaid parking fees from the Raiders, a situation that McKibben said last month will not jeopardize the team’s current lease.

McKibben plans to wait until the Raiders know when construction will begin in Las Vegas before discussing whether an extension would cover only the 2019 season or potentially the 2020 season as well.

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority announced last week that the team’s development agreement will not be completed until February, an unexpected delay that officials said would not delay construction.

If the 30-month construction schedule starts after Thanksgiving as planned and remains on track, the Raiders would only need a home for 2019. Their current lease expires after the 2018 season.

“Once we definitively know it is in fact two years, then we’ll sit down and we’ll have a meaningful negotiation with them,” McKibben said.

The A’s announced plans this week for a new 35,000-seat ballpark near Laney College in Oakland, away from the Coliseum site. That ballpark would not open until 2023, and the plan remains in conceptual stages.

Raiders President Marc Badain declined comment on the potential for a lease extension at the Coliseum. Team owner Mark Davis said in March that he hoped to stay in Oakland until the move to Las Vegas.

“Hopefully when the emotions die down a little bit, we can sit down and talk,” Davis said.

Potential Raiders homes for 2019 outside Oakland include Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Antonio. While Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas received preliminary consideration, Davis prefers other options.

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