With the outbreak of COVID-19 causing a lot of businesses to halt what they’re doing, it was reasonable to believe that the Raiders could hit a snag in the construction of their Las Vegas stadium. If that were to happen, it could’ve led to the team playing the start of the 2020 season back in Oakland where they still had an option to lease the coliseum. However, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are officially done with their longtime home:
The Raiders have officially cut ties with Oakland after declining their option to play the 2020 season at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, according to a source close to the team.
They are set to begin next season at Allegiant Stadium, their new home in Las Vegas.
This news should officially close the Raiders’ chapter in Oakland. It was a long shot that they’d ever play there again, but now it’s on to Las Vegas. The team had its farewell last season and prolonging the divorce would probably be bad for everybody involved.
Allegiant Stadium Construction Shouldn’t Stop
The likely reason the Raiders declined the option to potentially play in Oakland in 2020 is because it appears Allegiant Stadium shouldn’t halt construction amid coronavirus concern. According to KNTV, the Stadium Authority Board has no plans to stop construction:
All information available at this point indicates that Allegiant Stadium remains on schedule and on budget. Funds to complete the project were secured prior to commencing construction, including a roughly 18-month room tax reserve that secures the stadium bonds. While we are mindful of the inherent uncertainly created by the immediate health care crisis, as of now, the project remains on track.
Obviously, things could always change as nobody could’ve foreseen how quickly the coronavirus has affected the entire country. With Allegiant Stadium slated to finish on July 31st, any delay could bleed construction into the regular season. As of now, that shouldn’t be an issue, but the second one of the construction workers tests positive for COVID-19, the entire project could get shut down for an indefinite amount of time.
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Tom Brady to Play in Las Vegas in 2020
Much of the NFL offseason, the Raiders were linked to Tom Brady. Though there seemed to be a good chance the two sides could pair, once free agency actually started, it didn’t seem like there was much mutual interest. Brady should be officially signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the coming days, which is a move not many expected.
A Brady-Raiders pairing was always a strange idea and it probably makes more sense for both sides that it didn’t happen. That said, the future Hall of Fame quarterback should get his chance to play in Allegiant Stadium during the 2020 season. The Buccaneers are slated to play the Raiders in Las Vegas at some point in 2020. It should be an interesting sight to see Brady in a Buccaneers uniform playing the Raiders in Las Vegas. Nobody in the world would’ve thought that was even possible 10 years ago.