When the Raiders depart from Oakland and move into their new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020, the East Bay will say goodbye to NFL football.
But maybe not permanently.
A tweet posted Thursday by Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle claims that city and Coliseum officials are interested in relocating another NFL team to Oakland somewhere down the line.
NFL likes this market, says Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben. Suggests Jacksonville Jaguars or Tennessee Titans could replace Raiders after Vegas move.— Kimberly Veklerov (@KVeklerov) November 30, 2017
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What to do with Coliseum and Oracle Arena when teams leave? "You can't knock those suckers down with the debt still in place," says assistant city administrator Claudia Cappio.— Kimberly Veklerov (@KVeklerov) November 30, 2017
Amid speculation, the Tennessee Titans front office quickly responded that no, current ownership does not plan to sell or move the team, as reported Thursday by WKRN in Nashville – which also confirmed Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Executive Director Scott McKibben’s interest in the Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
“The Titans organization is not looking to move to Oakland or any other city and the team isn’t for sale,” the team told WKRN in a statement. “The city of Oakland will have to look elsewhere for a new NFL tenant.”
A CBS Sports report pointed out that if a relocation does happen, it will take a while – the Titans’ lease at Nissan Stadium extends through 2028, and naming rights extend further to 2035; and it would cost the Jaguars $50 million to leave their lease in the next season or two.
John Breech of CBS Sports called it “highly unlikely” that the city would land a new NFL team without a new stadium.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are supposed to be out of the Coliseum by 2019, and may have to find an alternative home-field option that year while they await the opening of their Vegas home.