The Oakland Raiders may be bound for Las Vegas, but it apparently won’t be any time soon.
With the franchise looking for a place to play some or all of its home games in the 2019 season should it not be able to come to an agreement with officials in Oakland on a lease extension, Sam Boyd Stadium — the home field for the UNLV football team — is not considered a possible site for next season, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Raiders are not slated to move to the Nevada hot spot until the 2020 season, when they expect their new stadium in Las Vegas will open that August. However, the team’s lease at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum expires after this season.
But a person familiar with the situation told the Review-Journal that UNLV’s home stadium, which seats up to 40,000 people, is not part of any contingency plans.
The Raiders have met with Oakland officials numerous times over the past several months, most recently in late September, per a CBS report, and the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. Because the city of Oakland is threatening to sue to keep the Raiders from moving to Nevada, the team might choose to leave before 2020 — even without a field booked for next season.
Per a San Francisco Chronicle report on Wednesday, the Raiders intend to leave at the end of this season if the city of Oakland files a multimillion-dollar antitrust lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL. Per the recent CBS report, the Raiders have reportedly made overtures to officials in San Diego. The two Los Angeles teams — the Rams and Chargers — consider that to be their market, however, and likely would balk at even a temporary relocation.
Playing at the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., also is a possibility for a short-term solution, especially given the proximity to Oakland, but it is believed the 49ers would not favor sharing Levi’s Stadium.
Raiders owner Mark Davis was quoted in late August as saying, “It’s in our minds, but it’s really in the back of our minds right now. We’re really concerned about 2018. Obviously, 2019 won’t be in Las Vegas, but it may have to be somewhere.”
When the Raiders’ move to Vegas is permanent, they will play in a $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium near the Las Vegas Strip.