Shortly after the Oakland Raiders finish their final home game of the season, their lease with the O.co Coliseum will expire. Discreetly, league officials have been frequently visiting the Bay Area in an attempt to secure a consecutive lease with the facility.
What will be the most likely solution for the Oakland Raiders? Possibly a short-term lease that would allow the Raiders to briefly continue playing at the outdated Coliseum.
In a short-term lease, the Raiders would be able to move easily if need be. Doing any sort of long-term lease with a facility so poorly funded and so outdated would be an unwise decision on the Raiders’ part, as the amenities are not considered up to par.
Another possibility would be returning to Los Angeles, where they have played before, but sources say nowhere in LA is close to being in play currently. What is so intriguing and rare about the Raiders’ situation? It’s highly possible the Raiders could technically be free agents come February 2014, an oddity in professional sports. The Raiders would then have substantial advantages with the Oakland-Alameda area and a potential new lease.
How has Oakland Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis, been dealing with the issue? Shockingly enough, Davis has done very little to approach the potentially serious issue. However, the NFL itself sent officials to Oakland last year to work out a solution to the lease issue and did so again less than a month ago. Davis is also pushing the idea of building a new stadium. How likely is the construction of a new building within the next few years? Almost impossible considering the current state of the economy and political climate in Oakland.
What else has been suggested for the stadium issue? There was a potential deal between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders sharing the new stadium the 49ers are building in Santa Clara, but Davis has been strongly against this idea. Unfortunately this leaves few viable options for the team.
A long process of decisions and debate lies ahead for Oakland, but as of now it is unclear if the Oakland County Coliseum will host the Raiders after this year.
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