Efforts to keep the Oakland Raiders in Oakland are not halting, as Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott believes his investment group can facilitate a solution at the Coliseum site.
While the Raiders have knocked out several steps in their quest to move to Las Vegas, the possibility of the team remaining in Oakland has not been ruled out. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that he believes that Oakland could still come up with a solution, and that the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas is by no means assured.
Given that public money for a stadium has not been put on the table in Oakland, the proposal from Lott’s group has caught the eyes of many. If that group reaches an agreement with local officials, it will acquire the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and surrounding property with the intent of building a football-only stadium that would house the Raiders. Such a move could come at a tipping point for the Coliseum area, as its other franchises–the Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors–continue to pursue new venues in other locations. (The Warriors in San Francisco, and the A’s in Oakland.)
According to Lott, negotiations have been positive and could result in a plan that ultimately assures that the Raiders stay put. More from SFGate.com:
The former 49ers and Raiders Hall of Fame defensive back said he has been meeting regularly with the city and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which jointly own the property that is home to the Coliseum and Oracle Arena. Lott said he also has talked to Raiders owner Mark Davis.
“I have a lot of respect for Mark,” Lott told The Chronicle on Tuesday in his first public comments on the subject. “We have a great relationship. I think the city and county will find a way to get this done, and Mark and the Raiders can continue to be an important part of this community.”
Lott and partner Rodney Peete — a former Raiders quarterback and, like Lott, a USC alum — have an agreement with the city and county that gives them 90 days to work out a deal for the Coliseum. Mayor Libby Schaaf said that expires at the end of November.
Lott said his attorneys wouldn’t let him discuss the financing plan for the billion-dollar football stadium that the Raiders require to stay. Unlike Las Vegas, Schaaf is unwilling to spend taxpayer money on another stadium, offering instead $90 million in public funding for infrastructure improvements to the Coliseum area.
A key piece in all of this is the remaining steps in Las Vegas. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval has scheduled a special session that will include votes on proposed hotel tax increases to fund the state’s $750 million contribution to the proposed $1.9 billion stadium project in Las Vegas. Davis has previously said he would seek permission to relocate if those motions are approved by the state. As we noted yesterday, a pair of Nevada-based groups recently announced their grievances with the plan, marking some early signs of organized opposition to a stadium in Las Vegas.
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