By Steven Tavares.
The Oakland Raiders are staying put for the 2016 season and possibly the next two years. The team and Coliseum Joint Powers Authority announced a one-year lease Thursday allowing the Raiders to play at the O.co Coliseum this fall, in addition, to options for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The proposal must be first approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and Oakland City Council, said Oakland Councilmember and JPA member Larry Reid.
With the Raiders edged out of the running for two NFL teams to move to Los Angeles last month, member of the JPA and Raider co-owner Mark Davis expressed renewed hope that a new football stadium can be financed and built in Oakland.
However, Davis was also critical of his Coliseum neighbors, the Oakland Athletics, who are also searching for a new home in the city. Building two stadiums at the current 120 acres Coliseum site has been previously raised as possibility.
But, Davis urged, “If the A’s want to stay at the Coliseum site, they need to commit ASAP.” He added, lead time is needed for designing the stadiums, along with a plan for both franchises following demolition of the current Coliseum.
But, Thursday’s press conference was primary a moment for officials to celebrate the team’s short-term future in Oakland.
“Today is like giving birth to a new baby,” said an ebullient Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. Later, in reference to stadium negotiations, Haggerty declared “We’re going to get this right.”
Davis added the proposed lease is good for all parties. “It’s a win-win situation and we’ll look forward to the future,” he said.
Originally posted at East Bay Citizen.