The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority board met on Friday morning, and executive director Scott McKibben provided a closed-session update on talks to host the Raiders during the 2019 NFL season.
No Raiders officials were present, but it was still a small and productive step towards keeping the Silver and Black in Oakland for one more year. The board liked the direction of talks between McKibben and Raiders brass.
“I updated the board on where I’ve been with the Raiders management and ownership,” McKibben said on Friday afternoon. “It’s fair to say that the talks are progressing.”
Talks will continue soon, with a resolution expected in the relatively near future.
“We’ll talk against next week,” McKibben said. “Again, this will come to a conclusion one way or another in the next week or so. It’s fair to say that discussions have been meaningful and productive and, after the update with our board, things are progressing.”
Continued progress will have the Raiders remaining at the Oakland Coliseum for another season, the last before formally moving to Las Vegas in 2020. The Raiders have remained in the East Bay since being approved for relocation prior to the 2017 season.
They preferred to remain in Oakland until the Vegas move – they had a 2017 lease at Oakland Coliseum, with a team option for ’18 – but halted negotiations for 2019 after the city of Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL for antitrust violations and breach of contract.
The Raiders and the Coliseum Authority were working on a $7.5 million deal for 2019, but the team walked away after the lawsuit was filed.
The Silver and Black explored several options, including some outside the market, but their preference was to continue playing in the Bay Area. The 49ers halted work on a deal to play at Oracle Park by refusing to waive their territorial rights, leaving Levi’s Stadium – owner Mark Davis doesn’t like the venue – and a return to Oakland Coliseum as the only viable local options.
Talks with McKibben ramped up a bit last week, and the foundation of previous extension talks has made a return to the table easier.
There’s plenty of work left to be done on a 2019 deal, but a resolution is closer following productive and meaningful talks to this stage.