Regardless of whether the Raiders ultimately move to Las Vegas, they won’t be leaving Oakland until 2019.
Via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, owner Mark Davis said that the team will continue to play at the Oakland Coliseum through 2018.
“We want to bring a Super Bowl championship back to the Bay Area,” Davis said.
That sounds a lot better than, “We got nowhere else to go.” That statement is more true than what Davis said; otherwise, he would stay in Oakland until at least one more Lombardi Trophy is secured.
The Raiders have one-year options at the Coliseum for 2017 and 2018, allowing them to stay put while their new stadium in Las Vegas is built. This allows them to try to time the move to the completion of the stadium, allowing the Raiders to avoid having to find temporary space in Las Vegas or elsewhere while the building is completed.
Unless approval to move is secured quickly, the Raiders ultimately may need another year or two in Oakland beyond 2018. That could make the negotiations on an extended lease a little awkward, with the powers-that-be in Oakland possibly tempted either to drive a hard bargain or to tell the Raiders to get lost if/when the Raiders realize that their Las Vegas home wouldn’t be ready until 2019 or later.