To the surprise of no one, the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas still doesn’t appear to be going as planned.
The Raiders have resumed talks with Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum officials for the first time since the City of Oakland filed an antitrust lawsuit against the team last December, Larry Beil of San Francisco’s ABC7 News reports.
— Larry Beil (@LarryBeilABC7) February 8, 2019
It’s not everyday you see a team re-engage with an entity that once said it “brazenly violated federal antitrust law” in a court filing, but, well, it’s becoming clear that the Raiders need Oakland more than they thought right now.
Raiders still looking for a 2019 home
Because the Raiders’ stadium in their new home of Las Vegas won’t be ready until the 2020 season, the team has been left to find a single-season venue for 2019 after pulling out of a tentative lease at the Coliseum.
You might not have thought finding a venue for two preseason games, eight regular-season games and potentially the playoffs (probably not a huge worry) would be this difficult, but the Raiders have struggled quite a bit.
Most recently, the team reached a deal with the San Francisco Giants to play at their newly named Oracle Park, but that required the San Francisco 49ers to waive their territorial rights for the city. That reportedly did not happen. A truly bonkers idea of the team playing home games in London next season also doesn’t seem to be happening at this point.
Now, the Raiders appear to be left with two options: share a stadium with the 49ers or go back to Oakland.
Raiders still have some offers on the table
Fortunately for the Raiders, a $7.5 million rent offer at the Coliseum is still in the table, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Such a return would be pretty embarrassing for a team that probably thought it would be saying goodbye to Oakland at this point, and lord knows that Oakland fans might not be so gracious, but at least it’s there.
The Niners have also reportedly expressed that they would be open to sharing Levi’s Stadium with the Raiders next year, despite blocking the Oracle Park move. Again, not a great option, but at least an option for a team in an awkward situation.
With talks between the Raiders and the Coliseum reportedly resuming, it appears that the team might be going with the former option.
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