The Raiders signed a one-year lease to play the 2016 season at Oakland Coliseum, and hold one-year team options for each of the two following years.
Owner Mark Davis plans to exercise them, even if the NFL approves his franchise’s relocation to Las Vegas.
He said so Monday at UNLV, shortly Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill approving $750 million in public financing for an NFL stadium in Las Vegas. If all goes as planned, the $1.9 billion project reportedly wouldn’t be ready until 2020. The Raiders would need a place to play until then.
“We’ll be in Oakland for the next two seasons,” Davis said told reporters. “So that their families aren’t uprooted. Once we know it’s a certainty that we’re coming here, they’ll have two years to look for homes and schools, and to get our offices and a practice facility built.
“We’re not moving overnight. That’s an important factor in our planning process.”
The Raiders don't have a lease option for the 2019, and would have to resolve that issue either in Oakland or elsewhere while a Las Vegas stadium finished construction.
Even with stadium financing approved, it remains uncertain whether the Raiders will move at all. Relocation must be approved by 24 of 32 NFL owners after the Silver and Black formally apply to move.
The Raiders will provide an update on their stadium search at this week’s NFL owners meetings in Houston. The Chargers will update the league on their stadium quest in San Diego and the Rams will give a progress report on the construction of a new stadium in Los Angeles.
A formal vote, which would only be requested if the Raiders have numbers on their side, could be called at owners meetings in 2017.
Davis remains steadfast in his quest to move his team to Las Vegas over any other option. The Raiders could stay put, or are in line to for an L.A. move if the Chargers turn down their priority option first.
If Vegas is the team’s ultimate destination, Davis said he would play a preseason game or two at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. That venue is not equipped to be an NFL stadium. The team is also researching a training camp location in Reno.