It’s now official: the Oakland Raiders will play at least one more season at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum — their home since their return from Los Angeles in 1995 — before departing for their their new home in Las Vegas.
On Friday, East Bay Times reporter David DeBolt reported that the Oakland Coliseum Authority board has voted to give final approval to the deal that would keep the Raiders in Oakland for 2019, and in 2020 if their new stadium in Las Vegas isn’t ready in time.
BREAKING: Raiders to play 2019 season in Oakland. Coliseum Authority board votes to approve lease agreement.— David DeBolt (@daviddebolt) March 15, 2019
So the Kansas City Chiefs will play at least one more game against their AFC rival in the infamous Black Hole.
We’ve been covering the crazy twists and turns of this story from the beginning. For reasons known only to themselves, once the deal had been made to move the team to Las Vegas (which happened almost two years ago) the Raiders chose not to immediately make arrangements to play in Oakland between the end of their existing lease with the Coliseum (the lease expired just over a month ago) and taking up residency in Sin City.
This story has included a lawsuit filed against the Raiders by the city of Oakland, rumors the team would play their 2019 games everywhere from London to San Antonio, and even a wild scheme that the team become the Ala-zona Raiders and split their home games between Tucson, Arizona and Birmingham, Alabama.
- December 27: The Raiders may just leave the country in 2019
- February 4: Raiders to use San Francisco’s Oracle Park in 2019, but the deal isn’t final
- February 13: Raiders reportedly closer to finding a home for 2019, but the story is getting even crazier
- February 21: Raiders are close to taking the long way home
It’s amazing that someone didn’t suggest that the Raiders play each of their eight 2019 home games at different locations somewhere along Route 66. There’s a song for it and everything.
But this story is — at long last — over. The NFL can finally start up the supercomputers and work out a schedule for 2019 — which was impossible to do while this issue was still unsettled — and the Raiders can get back to doing... well... normal Raider things.