The Raiders will finish playing this 2018 season in Oakland. They plan to open the 2020 season in Las Vegas, where a new state-of-the-art stadium is currently being built.
Where they’ll play the 2019 season is anybody’s guess. Staying put another year is ideal for the Silver and Black, though a potential lawsuit against the Raiders and NFL potentially stands in the way.
The Oakland city council has approved an anti-trust lawsuit over the Raiders' move away from the East Bay, an action that has been threatened but not formally levied. The Raiders have responded by saying they won’t return to Oakland Coliseum next year if a lawsuit is formally filed, and will play elsewhere.
Those are threats and nothing more at this stage.
The Raiders were close to completing a lease for the 2019 season (with contingencies to play here beyond that, if the Las Vegas stadium hits an unexpected snag) but that’s now in a holding pattern.
Mark Davis stated that, and his preferred intention to play in the East Bay next year, during a Sunday night interview with ESPN.
"I personally want to play in Oakland," Davis told ESPN. "I absolutely want to play in Oakland. We have a completed lease sitting with the city council, that all they have to do is agree to it and we're here next year."
The potential lawsuit, however, remains at sticking point.
"Emotionally, I would say, Why would I give them $3, $4, $5 million in rent that they're going to turn around and use to sue me?" Davis said. "But, at the same time, if they'll have us, I can't turn on the fans. I can't do it. And this is terrible negotiating I'm doing now. I'm going to get killed. But that's just the way I am. But, if in fact it does get ugly, and can't be bridged, we do have options."
If the 2019 lease agreement with Oakland Coliseum falls apart, the Raiders could play in San Diego – Qualcomm Stadium is NFL ready despite the Chargers leaving town – or somewhere else in the East Bay. Despite Davis’ dislike for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the venue could house two NFL teams for one season to bridge the Raiders’ transition to Las Vegas while still practicing in Alameda.
The Raiders have called Oakland Coliseum home for most of their existence, before and after a stint in Los Angeles from 1982-1994.
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