Thursday’s press conference lasted upwards of 20 minutes, so here’s what we learned from owner Mark Davis’ time behind the microphone.
The agreement is for one year, with an option for an additional two years of team options following the 2016 season.
“We’re here today to let you know that we’ve agreed in principle to a one year-lease extension to play our home games at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2016 season. This will include our two preseason games and seven regular season games. It won’t include the one game that will be played in Mexico City on November 21 against the Houston Texans. In addition, we have two, one-year options for the respected seasons of 2017 and 2018 that we can use.”
Although the terms of the lease agreement remained private, Mr. Davis announced that prices for season tickets will remain the same.
“Despite the increase in cost due to the lease terms, we will not be raising prices for season tickets per game to our season ticket holders. They’re loyal, passionate, and so in Oakland there will be a $225 ticket season ticket for nine games in the third deck, which is probably one of the greatest values in sports, and we’re looking forward to this coming season.”
The lease agreement gives the team, as well as the city and county a chance to work toward a long-term stadium deal in the future.
“First off, this is about today and the future, and the lease that we just signed with the city of Oakland. It gives us an opportunity to work on a permanent facility for the Raiders here in Oakland, and that’s where we’re going to keep it.”
Although the lease has been signed, both the team and the city and county, still feel a sense of urgency to get a stadium deal done.
“I’ll term this as a win-win-situation for the city of Oakland. The mayor [Libby Schaaf], when she presented in front of the National Football League owners, she said the one thing they needed was time, that if they had more time that they believed they could get something done with the Raiders in Oakland, and for the Raiders it give us some certainty for this season, as well as flexibility for the following two seasons, and the certainty is really important for us right now because free agency is coming up and players are going to want to know where they’re going to be playing and where they’re going to be living and everything else. I’ll say it again, I think it’s a win-win-situation, and we’ll look forward to the future.”
“My heart is here in Oakland.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever once said that I wasn’t interested in staying in Oakland, and I’ll continue to say that, but at the same time if people are going to call you and offer you things to look at, you have to look at them. You just have to do that as a business person and everything, but my heart is in here in Oakland, and if we can get something done that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Mr. Davis has no doubt about the loyalty and commitment of the fans of the Raiders in Oakland.
“I have no doubt, personally, about the fans of the Raiders in Oakland. There’s no question in my mind. What you just said, has to be heard by the people that are up here sitting next to me and understand how important we are to you, and I do believe these people do understand that, but the message has to be clear to them. You don’t have to sell me. I put on the table what we can do, and we want to stay. We need help.”