Details are emerging on a proposal to keep the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, including stadium financing and additional investors.
Oakland has been making a public push to keep the Raiders, an effort that the city hopes will ultimately persuade Mark Davis from moving the franchise to Las Vegas. At the center of the plan is a private/public partnership with an investment group that includes Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, a venture that would result in a new football-only stadium on the land surrounding the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
In previous remarks, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has made it clear that she does not want to engage in a bidding war with Las Vegas, where $750 million in public funding is on the table for a new stadium. According to the reported terms in Oakland, $200 million in public funds would be used to improve infrastructure around the Coliseum site. That figure would be matched by the NFL, while Lott’s group would put up $600 million, and the Raiders–who have reportedly been detached from the planning process–would contribute $300 million.
The plan would also allow for additional development at the site. More from SFGate.com:
In Oakland, both the city and Alameda County would be asked to put plenty of skin in the game. Under terms of the deal being proposed, sources say, the city and county would jointly put up $200 million to upgrade infrastructure at the Coliseum site. That money would be repaid from revenue generated by the stadium project.
The city and county would also lease 125 acres of Coliseum property to the Oakland City Pro Football Group, led by former 49er and Raider Lott and fellow former NFL player Rodney Peete. About 90 acres would be reserved for the new 55,000- to 58,000-seat stadium, plus about 8,500 parking spaces. The remaining 35 acres would be devoted to a mixed-use retail development, probably featuring restaurants, sports bars and other forms of entertainment — plus, possibly, a hotel.
In exchange, the city and county would share some percentage of non-football revenues at the stadium — from concerts, soccer matches, college football championships and the like — plus new taxes generated by the commercial development. There has been talk that some of the money could be used to pay the debt from the 1990s.
Lott and his group, meanwhile, have a prominent backer in the form of Wes Edens and his Fortress Investment Group. Edens, an owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, would come to the project with plenty of investment and sports business experience, and he was courted earlier this year for investment in an MLS stadium in Miami.
The investment from Edens is seen as crucial to completing the funding proposal in Oakland. More from the Milwaukee Business Journal:
Lott has a 90-day agreement to negotiate with Oakland city and county officials. A presentation on the deal with Lott’s group including Fortress was scheduled for discussion Tuesday before the Oakland City Council.
Details of the proposed deal to buy or lease the 120-acre Oakland Coliseum site were not released, but Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the terms would satisfy her commitment to keep the team in town and not use public money.
Schaaf said city and Alameda County officials still have a lot of work to do in a long, complicated process to hold onto the Oakland Raiders, according to a story in the San Francisco Business Times, a sister publication of the Milwaukee Business Journal. The deal with the Lott-Fortress group still must evolve into a term sheet, then an exclusive negotiating agreement and then a development agreement.
In trying to pull this together, officials in Oakland will also have to compete with the developments in Las Vegas, where a new stadium could open in 2019. The Raiders still have to work with partner Sheldon Adelson in coming to terms on the $1.9 billion facility, while also seeking permission from the NFL to relocate. The league could consider the proposal to move by January.
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