OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Commissioner and former Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente confirmed Wednesday that the deal being considered to allow the Raiders to play at the stadium next year would have the team paying more than it did for the 2018 season.
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority will vote Friday on the proposed lease agreement that would allow the team to play at the Coliseum for at least one more year.
The Raiders plan to move to Las Vegas in the near future, but a new football stadium that’s being built for them there won’t be ready until the fall of 2020 at the earliest.
De La Fuente, who is one of the authority’s eight commissioners, said a tentative agreement for a new lease for the Raiders had been reached late last year but fell apart after the city filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit against the Raiders and the National Football League for the move to Las Vegas.
The Raiders explored playing at other venues in the Bay Area, including Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Oracle Park in San Francisco, but nothing materialized so they resumed negotiating with the Coliseum Authority.
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De La Fuente declined to say how much the Raiders will pay if they play at the Coliseum this fall, but confirmed it would be more than the $3.5 million a year it paid under its previous lease. The amount also is more than what the tentative agreement late last year had called for.
According to De La Fuente, the lease agreement also would allow the Raiders to continue playing in the Coliseum in the fall of 2020 if the Las Vegas stadium isn’t ready by then, which he said is a strong possibility.
De La Fuente, a former union leader, said the lease agreement is good for the 2,000 people who work at the Coliseum during games, since it will increase their hours and improve their chances of getting medical insurance.
He said if the Coliseum Authority commissioners approve the lease agreement on Friday, it would then still need to be approved by the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
Last week, officials said talks between the board and team representatives were moving forward, but a major glitch that officials weren’t at liberty to discuss was threatening to sink the whole deal.
While no one would confirm what exactly the sticking point was, sources said the issue was who would cover the expenses of the Raider’s headquarters in Alameda for the one to two years of the new lease.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she is encouraged by how the talks are going.
“The city is done subsidizing this team. We have to make a profit if they’re going to stay,” said Schaaf. “That’s true for the county. For too long, the shakedown of the billionaire boys club has been going on and we are committing to stopping that.”
Schaaf told KPIX a week ago that the negotiations won’t change the status of the antitrust lawsuit against the team and the NFL for what she calls “the wrongful relocation” of the Raiders to Las Vegas.
Officials have said the lawsuit was not an issue in the talks.
Barring any setbacks in Las Vegas, this likely will be the Raiders’ final season in Oakland after moving back from Los Angeles in 1995. The Raiders began playing at the Coliseum in 1966 and were there through the 1981 season before going to Southern California.
The commissioners are scheduled to meet at the Oracle Arena Plaza Club at 7000 Coliseum Way at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
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