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Oakland Trying to Close Coliseum Deal, Keep Raiders

O.Co Coliseum, Oracle Arena

Even with Nevada legislators working toward a new Las Vegas Stadium for the Oakland Raiders, officials in Oakland are working on a deal to keep the team.

Oakland’s plan for the Raiders has been fairly well known. A group of investors that includes Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott would work on a development of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum property that includes a football-only stadium for the Raiders. According to the latest update from mayor Libby Schaaf, talks with that group are going in the right direction.

Meanwhile the plan in Las Vegas continues to be debated by Nevada legislators. A special session concerning the stadium and other state-related issues is set to reconvene on Thursday, just two days after the Nevada senate approved the funding model for a $750 million contribution to a $1.9 billion stadium project in Las Vegas.

The next decision concerning the stadium will come from general assembly. Without dwelling too much on how that vote will unfold, Schaaf and other officials are looking to spruce up Oakland’s bid. Schaaf said that funds could be available to improve the Coliseum site’s infrastructure, but also stated that Oakland will not get into a bidding war with Nevada. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Oakland made that mistake in the past and will not repeat it,” Schaaf said, recalling the $180 million Coliseum rebuild from the 1990s that taxpayers are still paying off.

It’s unclear if the framework of any deal can be worked out before NFL team owners gather for their annual fall meetings on Oct. 18-19 in Houston. But all parties know the clock is ticking down.

“It will be incumbent on us in the next couple of months to have something acceptable in the hands of both the Raiders and NFL,” said Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, which operates the stadium where both the Raiders and A’s play.

“We can’t stop what is going on in Las Vegas,” said Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid, a member of the Coliseum board. “All we can do is move forward on a trajectory where we think we can get something done that the NFL would agree to

If the special session ultimately yields an approval of the stadium, Raiders owner Mark Davis is expected to ask the NFL for permission to relocate to Las Vegas. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has downplayed relocation talks in previous remarks, but it remains to be seen if that does anything to help Oakland in the event that Nevada makes funding available for Las Vegas stadium.

The decision the Raiders could have a ripple effect in Oakland. The city is also trying to keep the Oakland A’s, who are believed to be considering multiple sites for a new ballpark, including the Coliseum location.

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