Southern California

Oakland Raiders' Lease Extended to Stay at Coliseum: JPA

The Joint Powers Authority on Friday approved a short term lease renewal for the Oakland Raiders to remain as tenants at the Oakland Coliseum, a move that was expected and widely reported.

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan said the authority voted unanimously to extend the lease for the Oakland Raiders through the end of the 2015-2016 football season. Now, she said, this gives leaders "a year to come up with a long-term plan."

The Raiders will pay $400,000 in December 2015 with an additional fee for use of the training facility in Alameda. The lease must now be approved by the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Both agenices comprise the Joint Powers Authority that oversees the Coliseum.

“This is a good start and we need to maintain this momentum,” added Oakland City Councilman and Joint Powers Authority Chair Larry Reid. “Starting today, we can work with new urgency and take a fresh look at the opportunity ahead of us to find a solution for our teams and our community,” he added.

Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Scott McKibben said there are "numerous paths" to retain both the Raiders and the Oakland Athletics - the baseball team that also shares the Coliseum stadium.

This move does not necessarily mean that the Raiders will stay in Oakland. The team has long sought better digs. The Coliseum along Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland is aging and in need of modernization. It's among the oldest stadiums in the National Football League, opened in 1966, with its last renovation in 1995.

Many Oakland leaders have been working hard to retain the team by working on a $2-billion Coliseum City project which is designed to create hotels, stores and a stadium for both the Raiders and A's. The sticking point is in the details of this project, as the Raiders need help in financing the project, and the JPA is wary of putting taxpayer money into the project. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has said she wants the team in town, but opposes using public money for stadium construction.

In a January interview with ESPN, Raiders owner Mark Davis said  the team is willing to spend $300 million, with another $200 million coming from the NFL. According to Davis, that leaves the team about $500 million shy of what it needs to get a new stadium built.

And moving the Raiders to Carson in Southern California is still a viable Plan B.

Organizers behind a proposed stadium for the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers in a Los Angeles suburb filed paperwork Wednesday to bring their plan before voters. Submission of the ballot initiative to the city of Carson, California, marks an incremental step in development of the $1.7 billion project.

But moving south would be foolish, Kaplan said.

"Raider Nation is very strong in Oakland," Kaplan said. "Keep in mind. The Raiders went to LA before and they didn't really have a fan base.

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