The agency that oversees the Oakland Coliseum complex said that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Oakland Raiders to extend the football team's lease at the Coliseum three more years, through the 2013 season.
However, the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority said the agreement must still be formally approved by the Oakland City Council, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the National Football League as well as the authority's own board.
Currently, the Raiders' lease at the Coliseum is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2010 season.
Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who's been on the Coliseum Authority's board for many years, said the goal of the tentative agreement is to get the lease issue out of the way so the authority can work with the Raiders on trying to build a new football stadium for the team.
De La Fuente said one intriguing possibility is having a new stadium built that could be used by both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers.
He said the NFL is pushing the concept of having a single stadium serve both teams in a two-team market, noting that a precedent has been set in New York, where the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in the same stadium.
De La Fuente said he thinks the best site for a joint stadium in the Bay Area is on the Oakland Coliseum complex because it's served by BART, AC Transit and Amtrak and is adjacent to Interstate Highway 880.
In a tersely worded prepared statement, the Raiders, who are known for their secretive ways, neither confirmed or denied that a tentative agreement has been reached.
Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said in the statement, "We enjoy a productive working relationship with the city, the county and the Joint Powers Authority (another name for the Coliseum Authority) and we enjoy collaborating with them on many issues."
Trask said, "Both (Alameda County) Supervisor (Scott) Haggerty and Councilmember De La Fuente have discussed some exciting concepts to use - exciting for the Raiders, the Raider nation (the team's fans) the community and the region - and we look forward to further pursuing these ideas."
Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said Trask and other team officials wouldn't make any other comment on the issue.
Coliseum Authority interim executive director Deena McClain said the tentative agreement calls for the Raiders to pay an additional $5 million to the city and county over the three-year lease extension period.
She said the Raiders currently pay $525,000 a year to lease the Oakland Coliseum and the city and county also get all net parking revenues, three quarters of net concession revenues and half of club dues.
McClain said the tentative agreement gives the Raiders the ability to terminate their lease but if they do so they must still pay the additional $5 million, unless they move to another location in Alameda County.
De La Fuente said he expects that the authority's board, the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will vote on the tentative agreement in public meetings before the end of the year.
In a statement, Haggerty said, "This agreement is a milestone in our improved working relationship with the team. There are many uncertainties in Bay Area sports and during these tough economic times we hope this agreement will help us build on the great Raiders tradition in the East Bay."
Bay City News