ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Raiders have officially declined their option to play the 2020 season in Oakland and remain set to begin play in Las Vegas this season.

A person familiar with the team’s plans said Wednesday that the Raiders notified officials in Oakland and Alameda County that they won’t exercise an option that would have allowed them to play this season at the Coliseum in case the new stadium in Las Vegas wasn’t completed on time. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced it.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the decision.

The Raiders announced plans to move to Las Vegas in 2017 and the NFL approved it later that year. The team remained in Oakland as a lame duck the past three seasons and had an option to stay for 2020 if needed.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down many businesses in Nevada for at least 30 days, there were questions about whether construction on the $1.9 billion stadium would go on without interruption.

But construction on the stadium has been deemed “essential” and is still going on. The stadium, which will be home to the Raiders and UNLV football, is set to open this summer.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


More AP NFL: and