OAKLAND (AP) — Four weeks after being stymied in their effort to move to Los Angeles, the Raiders agreed to a one-year extension lease extension on Thursday to remain at the Oakland Coliseum through the 2016 season — and possibly beyond.
Raiders owner Mark Davis, who had been mulling multiple options to move his team since being passed over by the NFL’s other owners to relocate the Raiders to Southern California, called the deal a “win-win” for both sides.
“It gives us an opportunity to work on a permanent facility for the Raiders here in Oakland,” Davis told reporters. “It gives us some certainty for this season as well as flexibility for the following two seasons.”
The agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority guarantees that the Raiders will play the 2016 season in the same stadium they have called home since 1995. It also carries two one-year team options.
The deal still needs approval of the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Both are expected to meet to discuss the terms of the agreement within the next two weeks.
“I feel very optimistic about the situation,” JPA Chair and Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid told The Associated Press. “It gives (Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf) and her team an opportunity to work with the Raiders on putting together a perm facility that will keep the Raiders here in the city of Oakland. This is an NFL city.”
Reid declined to discuss specific details about the new lease with the Raiders, but said it was much better than previous agreements between the two sides.
“(It) is a much better lease agreement than the one that’s due to expire on Feb. 17,” Reid said. “That shows the Raiders commitment to sit down and get a deal done.”
The St. Louis Rams were approved to move to Los Angeles in January, while the San Diego Chargers have an option to join the Rams at their yet-to-be-built stadium in Inglewood.
If the Chargers opt to stay in San Diego, the Raiders would then be given the chance to move to Los Angeles where they played from 1982-94.
Davis, who took over the Raiders after his father Al Davis passed away in 2011, has repeatedly stated a desire to keep his team in Oakland while at the same time checking out other potential sites. He has met with officials from San Antonio on several occasions and recently was reportedly interested in exploring Las Vegas as a possible place to move the franchise.
“If people are going to call you and offer you things to look at, you have to look at them,” Davis said. “But my heart is here in Oakland and if we can get something done, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
The Raiders currently share the Coliseum with the Oakland Athletics, who are also seeking a new stadium of their own. A’s owner Lew Wolff has stated his desire to have a baseball-only stadium at the site where the Coliseum currently sits. Davis, however, has said he favors building two stadiums — one for football and one for baseball.
To help in negotiations for getting a new stadium built in Oakland, the Raiders hired consulted Larry MacNeil and added him to their stadium development team. MacNeil previously spent 10 years as chief financial officer for the San Francisco 49ers and was instrumental in getting the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium built.