- Lachlan Cunningham/Getty
- In March 2017, the Raiders announced that they would uproot their franchise from Oakland and move to Las Vegas for either the 2019 or 2020 NFL seasons.
- Construction on the Raiders’ new stadium – Las Vegas Stadium – will not be complete until 2020, but the team’s current lease with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is set to expire at the end of this season.
- With the city of Oakland gearing up for a multimillion-dollar antitrust lawsuit against the franchise, the Raiders may be forced to take a temporary detour to San Diego before arriving in Sin City.
After spending its entire history in California, the Raiders franchise plans to relocate to a new stadium in Las Vegas in time for the start of the 2020 season.
But the team’s current lease with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is set to expire at the end of the season, and with the city of Oakland gearing up for a multimillion-dollar antitrust lawsuit against them, the Raiders may be forced to take a temporary detour before arriving in Sin City.
Construction on the franchise’s state-of-the-art new home, Las Vegas Stadium, will not be complete until 2020. According to Gary Peterson of The Mercury News, the $1.8 billion arena will boast a translucent ceiling, a large veranda with views of the Strip, and nine clubs with seating for 8,000 people.
Check out this virtual tour of the proposed stadium:
In the meantime, the team has been working to extend its contract with the Coliseum for another year or two until its new home in Las Vegas is complete, but the Raiders refuse to sign the extension if a suit is filed against them.
“They told me we might as well take the contract and rip it up,” Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Executive Director Scott McKibben told Phil Matier and Andy Ross at the San Francisco Chronicle Sept. 4.
According to a Sunday report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the franchise has at least considered a very temporary stint in San Diego, as there has been some contact between the team and the mayor’s office. The Los Angeles Chargers left San Diego County Credit Union Stadium at the end of the 2016 NFL season, so there is plenty of room for the Raiders to move in for the year.
Still, the chances of the Silver and Black making a home in Southern California seem remote, as both the Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams already play in Southern California and hope to tap into San Diego’s newly vacated market.
According to La Canfora, a more probable landing spot for the Raiders could be Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home to the San Francisco 49ers. The team could also potentially move to Las Vegas a year early, but the only available venue would be Sam Boyd Stadium, home of the UNLV football team. With only 40,000 seats, the 46-year-old arena would require serious renovations before hosting regular-season NFL games.
“We have not heard from the Raiders regarding the 2019 season, but UNLV has always been willing to work with our new partners if that ever became a possibility,” UNLV Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois told Mick Akers at the Las Vegas Sun.
Regardless of where the Raiders land next season, Oakland fans likely will not be happy with the leadership of their beloved franchise. Raider Nation has been outspoken in its opposition to the move: