By ALAN SNEL
The executive director of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority told LVSportsBiz.com today that he is waiting to hear from the Oakland Raiders about whether the NFL team will need a lease at its Bay-area stadium for only 2019 or for both 2019 and 2020.
“With the delays (at the Las Vegas stadium), it’s beginning to look like they will need a lease for 2020” to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, said Scott McKibben, Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority executive director.
But McKibben stressed he is still waiting to hear from Raiders owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badain about whether the team wants a lease for only 2019 at the Coliseum or whether the Raiders want a deal to play there for both 2019 and 2020. The Raiders have a lease to play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018.
“There are no current negotiations” for 2019 and 2020, McKibben said Tuesday. “We don’t know until we find out from the Raiders how many seasons they need.”
McKibben said because the stadium process in Las Vegas is moving slower than expected, people have speculated that the Raiders will need to play in Oakland for not just 2019 but for 2020, too. But he repeated there is no lease deal for 2020 in Oakland because he’s still waiting to hear from Davis and Badain.
The Raiders are receiving $750 million from Nevada to help build their 65,000-seat, domed stadium on the west side of I-15, off Russell Road and along Polaris Avenue across the interstate from Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. Clark County will issue bonds next year to raise $1.2 billion over 30 years so that Nevada can give the $750 million to the Raiders for their palatial stadium. The Raiders also plan to build a $100 million training center in the Las Vegas area.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board, a nine-member panel overseeing the Raiders stadium process, still has several major issues and agreements to deal with in connection with the stadium. The Las Vegas stadium board has extended its life from 12 months to 18 months.
And the Raiders still have to hammer out a community benefits plan for the Las Vegas stadium that will outline how the team will involve small business, minority contractors and women-owned businesses in the construction of the $1.9 billion stadium project.
And the Raiders also have to reach a deal with UNLV on a lease agreement that will allow the university’s football team to play six games a year at the Raiders stadium. The Nevada Board of Regents will have to approve the lease before it goes before the Las Vegas stadium board.
The Raiders have begun site work at its 62-acre stadium site such as clearing debris and drilling for soil samples. Clark County commissioners has given the Raiders a land use agreement to move ahead even though the team’s stadium plan is 13,000 parking spaces shy of meeting county rules.
Neither the Raiders’ Davis nor Badain could be reached for comment Tuesday. LVSportsBiz.com also left a phone message for Steve Hill, the Las Vegas stadium board chairman, at his Governor’s Office for Economic Development office in Las Vegas.
Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a backer of the Raiders stadium, said he is confident that the Raiders’ two stadium construction contractors, Mortenson Construction in Minneapolis and McCarthy Building Cos. here in the Las Vegas, will be able to build the stadium for the 2020 NFL season.
“There is a terrific chance the Raiders will be playing in our stadium by 2020,” Sisolak told LVSportsBiz.com Tuesday.
Sources have told LVSportsBiz.com that the Raiders do not want to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas and that the team would like to make a clean transition from Oakland straight into the new Vegas stadium.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com