The Oakland Raiders have decided to fork out $3.5 million for the lease and rights to play in the O.co Coliseum this coming season. The new rent total roughly equates to three times the amount the Raider Organization paid in 2015.
Last year’s seasonal rent total for the Raiders was approximately $925,000, based on what was reported and according to the Bay Area News Group.
The new agreement has been reportedly inked between the Oakland Raiders and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. The latest agreement initially signed in February is essentially a one-year extension which also includes two further years of team options beginning in 2017 and ending after the 2018 season.
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority gave its official approval of the recently drafted agreement last Friday. As the case with many contracts that’s not the end of the story; it is now on to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and Oakland City Council for their independent stamps of approval.
Many might be wondering why the rent has increased at such a rate. One might also be inclined to imagine that such increases amount to a form extortion given the fact that the Raiders have been actively negotiating- to little avail- for a new stadium both in Oakland and elsewhere. Scott McKibben, who is the executive director of the Coliseum authority, began with informing inquiring minds that the rent increase accounts for growing costs associated with game day security and other “factors”. Factors?
He continued to provide statements like “We’re more or less trying to pass along some of these (costs) to the Raiders which is not unlike any other NFL team. McKibben continues “I spent a lot of time visiting with a lot of other NFL teams and this has been customary throughout the league. And quite honestly at the end of the day the Raiders were very cooperative with us on that.” Well if the Raiders have been “quite cooperative” then it’s difficult to cry foul…I guess.
So the stadium musical chairs continues. To date the St. Louis Rams were given the official thumbs up by the NFL the past January to make the long reported wish to move to the Los Angeles market. Additionally the San Diego Chargers now have the option- also approved by the NFL- to join the Rams in their new digs set to be completed several years from now (the 2019 season) in Inglewood, California.
The Oakland Raiders remain in a holding pattern and could continue on their path to find a new home after the 2016 season but they are being held captive and forced to wait only until after the San Diego Chargers make up their minds about whether not they decide to share a new home field with the Rams.
In the meantime the Oakland Raiders head honcho Mark Davis continues to consider his team’s future status by with other cities. One scenario being explored but highly unlikely for many reasons- namely being in a gambling town and the NFL objections to it- is a stadium in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has reportedly put forward a $1 billion domed stadium project in close proximity to UNLV- between the airport and the Vegas Strip. The last publically reported meeting regarding a Vegas option was when Mark Davis met with Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson this past January.