Oakland Coliseum

A's clear crucial hurdle in push to build new Howard Terminal ballpark

A's clear crucial hurdle in push to build new Howard Terminal ballpark

OAKLAND -- The A's proposal to build a new waterfront ballpark at Howard Terminal cleared a significant hurdle Monday night, as the California State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources voted 7-0 to move the legislation forward.

"With the 7-0 vote, they're really giving a resounding yes that Oakland should have the same time of waterfront [ballpark] as San Francisco, and that's a great thing," A's president Dave Kaval told NBC Sports California. "It's really the key step. These bills never die on the floor, they die in committee. And so the fact that we've gotten out of committee -- and this is kind of the key committee -- this is where we had to bring our supporters, our fans and everyone from the Green and Gold nation to make sure it happened."

Kaval noted that approximately 350 A's fans packed the State Capitol earlier in the day to rally in favor of Assembly Bill 1191, authored by Rob Bonta (D-California), in support of developing Howard Terminal for a new ballpark.

"We're pretty excited about the results and that so many fans came out," Kaval said. "I think that's what I was most excited about -- 350 fans, many of them traveled up from the Bay Area to spend an afternoon in Sacramento supporting the A's and our legislation. That's a big deal."

Kaval and the A's face another important vote Tuesday when they aim for approval to buy half of the Coliseum property from Alameda County for redevelopment.

"That's obviously transformative for our second project in Oakland," Kaval said. "We set forth in November with these two projects -- one at the waterfront and one here in East Oakland -- and we're making great progress on both, which is a great thing."

The next step for AB 1191 comes Wednesday in the Assembly Local Government Committee. As Kaval put it, "It's a week of votes."

Raiders owner Mark Davis thrilled Oakland Coliseum lease was approved

Raiders owner Mark Davis thrilled Oakland Coliseum lease was approved

PHOENIX – The Raiders will spend one more season in Oakland, the final stretch of a prolonged transition from the East Bay to Las Vegas.

It will happen at the Oakland Coliseum, after NFL owners unanimously approved a new lease agreement on Monday at the annual league meeting. It was the last of four approval votes to validate a pact to play 2019 in Oakland.

It brought owner Mark Davis great relief, which was written on his face while speaking with NBC Sports Bay Area in the Arizona Biltmore hotel’s main lobby.

“I won’t work out a stadium lease again in my lifetime,” Davis said with a smile.

His search for a place to play 2019 has been stressful. The Raiders abandoned negotiations with the Oakland Coliseum in December 2018, after Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL for antitrust violations and breach of contract.

That sent the Raiders searching outside the market, into negotiations with the San Francisco Giants to play at Oracle Park and the undesirable Levi’s Stadium option. They all proved fruitless, sending the Raiders back to work out a deal with the Oakland Coliseum.

Now the Oakland Coliseum deal is done, including a 2020 option to account for unforeseen Las Vegas stadium delays. In short, there’s the clear path to Las Vegas.

Davis is happy to have a place to play until the Raiders debut in the Silver State.

“I think (Raiders president Marc Badain and Raiders general counsel Dan Ventrelle), with both hands tied behind their back, did a really admirable job working with the city (of Oakland) and getting a deal done under tough circumstances,” Davis said. “We’re ready to go.”

Despite pulling his Raiders up and leaving for Las Vegas, Davis still holds affection for the Raiders’ Bay Area fan base, and hopes to honor the team’s past before starting a new chapter in franchise history.

“The main thing here is that we get to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the AFL and the Raiders in the Bay Area, which I was hoping to do all along,” Davis said. “That’s going to be exciting.”

While he’ll look back on his team’s tradition in 2019, Davis is focused on the future and a rapidly progressing stadium in Las Vegas.

“I go by it and water it,” Davis said with a smile. “Then I come back a couple weeks later and it grows.”

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While there have been minor delays, the new venue opening just off the Las Vegas Strip should be ready to host games in Aug. 2020. A state-of-the-art training facility is being built in nearby Henderson, Nevada, and that could be ready around June 2020.

Until then, however, the Raiders have a place to play in Oakland as this long transition comes to a close.

NFL owners approve Raiders' stadium lease with Oakland Coliseum

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NFL owners approve Raiders' stadium lease with Oakland Coliseum

PHOENIX – The NFL formally voted to approve the Raiders' lease agreement at the Oakland Coliseum without resistance at the league owners meetings on Monday.

The Raiders have been virtually locked in to play the 2019 season at Oakland Coliseum for some time. The Oakland Coliseum Authority board approved the one-year lease agreement, which contains a 2020 option, on March 15.

Procedurally, a few more steps remained.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors gave their expected stamp of approval on March 19. The Oakland City Council did the same Thursday. Both votes were unanimous, a predictable turn considering the Coliseum Authority was acting essentially on behalf of those governing bodies, with representatives from each entity.

Those approvals essentially set the Raiders stadium situation prior to their move to Las Vegas in 2020, but the NFL still had to weigh in. That happened Monday at the NFL owners meeting, when the lease agreement was unanimously approved by each member club. 

"It was unanimous," Raiders owner Mark Davis said. "There was almost one abstention."

That last part was a reference to late Raiders owner Al Davis' penchant for abstaning from league votes. The Raiders were voting yes to this lease agreement along with the rest of the league. It's the final hurdle while transitioning to Las Vegas in 2020, when their new stadium and training facility are scheduled to open. Save unforeseen delays, the Raiders have a clear path to Las Vegas. 

Now, the Raiders' prolonged search for a 2019 home, one that sent the Raiders searching outside the market, is finally complete. They looked far and wide for one after Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL over alleged antitrust violations and breach of contract. The team has filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

Owner Mark Davis didn’t want to play in a city that was suing him – the Raiders at one point abandoned active lease negotiations with the Coliseum Authority -- but struggles to find a proper home proved difficult. The 49ers wouldn’t waive territorial rights to allow a pact formed with the San Francisco Giants to play at Oracle Park.

The Raiders also spoke with the 49ers about playing at Levi’s Stadium, but that was essentially a non-starter considering Davis’ aversion to the Santa Clara venue.

The Silver and Black ended up back at the table with the Coliseum authority, using the same lease terms available before Oakland’s lawsuit was levied.

What followed was a weird story to cover, with far too many incremental updates on a now-finalized lease agreement with concerning hurdles.

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Now, the Raiders are set up to transition easily to Las Vegas in 2020 if their new stadium is completed on schedule as expected. The Raiders will pay $7.5 million in rent for nine games this season, a sum that will drop if the Raiders play a preseason game in Canada as previously reported. They would owe $10.5 million if they exercised a 2020 option. The Raiders, however, should be in Las Vegas by then.

The stadium being built just off the Las Vegas Strip has incurred minor delays, but nothing that should divert from its scheduled opening in the 2020 preseason.