It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Oakland Raiders with roster reshuffling and trades, but one question hung over the team since the final whistle of the 2018 season; where will they play in 2019?
Monday, the NFL Owners voted unanimously to approve a one-year lease that will keep the Raiders in Oakland at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum for one final year until they officially relocate to Las Vegas.
Back in December, the city of Oakland sued the Raiders and the NFL, claiming the league was a “cartel” that “violated federal antitrust laws” and “violated the NFL’s own policies for team relocation.” They also accused the league of “boycotting Oakland in the marketplace of hosting a football club.”
This, of course, was not the first anti-trust suit filed against the NFL. Famously the USFL led by Donald Trump sued the NFL alleging that same fact. The now defunct league was awarded the sum of exactly $1 in damages.
— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) March 25, 2019
When the lawsuit was first rumored, Raiders owner Mark Davis pledged to never play in Oakland again if it moved forward. Plenty of other sites were looked at as alternatives, including sharing the stadium in San Francisco at Oracle Park or to share Levi’s Stadium with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers refused to waive their territorial rights to let that happen.
Ultimately cooler heads prevailed and Oakland gets to keep the Silver and Black for one final season. The team will pay $7.5 million to lease the Coliseum this year if they play their full nine-game slate there (including preseason games).
NFL owners unanimously have approved Raiders stadium lease, allowing team to stay in Oakland until Las Vegas relocation. The NFL, Coliseum Authority, Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors all approved deal. Raiders now can advance ticket-selling efforts. pic.twitter.com/QXGGVJiVX8
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 25, 2019
The Raiders are set to move into their Las Vegas digs in 2020.