OAKLAND – The Raiders have re-engaged in talks to play the 2019 season at the Oakland Coliseum. The Silver and Black abandoned them back in December, when the city of Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL for antitrust violations and breach of contract.
The Raiders took a $7.5 million lease extension offer off the table after the lawsuit was filed, and began exploring other venues to play one final season before relocating to Las Vegas in 2020.
The Silver and Black returned to the table late last week, Coliseum Authority executive chairman Scott McKibben told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday afternoon. McKibben characterized talks as meaningful and productive, and he is set to address the Coliseum Authority's board of commissioners in a closed session on Friday at 8:30 a.m.
A Raiders official did not immediately return a text seeking comment.
The Raiders were previously engaged in discussions with the San Francisco Giants to play next season at Oracle Park. Those talks produced an agreement in principle that was never executed.
The 49ers would not waive their territorial rights to the city of San Francisco, given to them specifically in the NFL’s bylaws. The NFL had some say in the matter, though a source told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that unanimous vote of NFL owners would have been required to allow the Raiders to play there.
The Raiders have long said they were exploring options in the Bay Area and other markets, but the team seemed to prefer a local choice while continuing to practice at their Alameda training facility.
Oakland Coliseum wasn’t preferable due to the legal action, and owner Mark Davis voiced dislike for Levi’s Stadium – an NFL venue built to house two teams – even before the Raiders’ relationship with the 49ers grew cold.
While the Raiders still don’t have a home venue, a decision could come soon. The team’s 2018 lease with Oakland Coliseum ends on Wednesday, so the Coliseum Authority hoped to have some clarity on the Raiders' intentions.
A return to the table is a significant move, especially considering the sides had previously discussed a lease extension. That said, it doesn’t necessarily lock down a pact. There’s work yet to be done in that regard.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during Super Bowl week that he hopes a resolution on the Raiders home venue will come in February, so the league can schedule the 2019 season.