Raiders' Las Vegas stadium is a year into construction but where will team play in 2019?
The new Vegas digs won't be ready until 2020 and as of now, the Raiders don't have a home for next season
The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas in 2020 and here's a look at their shiny new $1.9 billion stadium, one year into construction:
The initial timeline was to have the stadium completed by June 2020 in time for the Raiders to open the 2020 season in Las Vegas. If that sounds tight, it is. That's roughly 31 months, which as CBSSports.com's John Breech noted in May 2017, means there's little room for delays. The last two NFL stadiums to be built, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, took 39 and 32 months, respectively.
In the meantime, the Raiders still don't know where they will be playing after the 2018 season and before they relocate to Vegas ahead of the 2020 campaign. Pretty much from the time the NFL announced in 2017 that the Raiders would be leaving Oakland, owner Mark Davis has said that he'd love to play in Oakland through the 2019. But the team's lease is up after the season and, as it stands, the Raiders have yet to find a home for next season.
Exacerbating matters: The Raiders could decide to leave after the 2018 season should the Oakland City Council go forward with a multimillion-dollar antitrust lawsuit against the team and the league over the relocation to Vegas.
But moving to Vegas a year early isn't an option for one simple reason: Sam Boyd Stadium, current home of UNLV's football team, isn't up to NFL standards. In August, Davis said, "It's in our minds, but it's really in the back of our minds right now," because he was more concerned with the 2018 season, which has, so far, been two months of some of the worst football anyone could have imagined.
By September, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that the team have had "very preliminary" discussions with the city of San Diego, adding that any such move would face resistance from the Chargers and Rams. Levi's Stadium, home of the 49ers, was also mentioned as a possible temporary solution, as was San Antonio, which doesn't have a state-of-the-art NFL stadium but has hosted NFL games at the Alamodome.
And in 2015, when the Raiders were talking about leaving Oakland for Los Angeles in 2016, former San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor said her city would happily host the Raiders should the team relocate to L.A. but need a place to play until a new stadium was built.
So, good news: The Las Vegas stadium is coming along. The bad news: The Raiders still don't know where they're playing after the 2018 season, which ends in six weeks.
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