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Raiders Davis says Oakland Stadium plan “Doesn’t work for Us”

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis speaks to fans during a hearing hosted by the NFL to gather comments from football fans on the possible relocation of the team Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Oakland , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

According to Matthew Artz of the San Jose Mercury News, the battle between The City of Oakland leaders and Raiders owner Mark Davis took another turn this past Tuesday as the city submitted an updated stadium financing plan to the NFL that could set the stage for a protracted fight if the team is not allowed to move to Los Angeles next season.  The five-page letter signed by Mayor Libby Schaaf and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty included no new offers of public money for the team.  With NFL owners meeting next month to potentially decide which team(s) get to move to LA, Mayor Schaaf said Tuesday that the league and Raiders fans “understand that Oakland does not have a big check to write.”  Raiders owner Mark Davis, who received a draft version of the letter, took it as a sign that the city wasn’t serious about reaching a deal.  Davis speculated that “They just don’t want to play (negotiate) with us.  I don’t know why, I don’t understand it.”

 The letter suggests making available 60 acres for a new football stadium on the south end of the Coliseum property. The Raiders would be provided 8,000 surface parking spaces in the vicinity of the stadium. The team also would get to keep all game-day revenue, but would be responsible for any construction cost overruns.  Davis said that the 60 acres wouldn’t even meet the Raiders parking needs.  Davis commented “They’re trying to say to build in the corner of the parking lot, and we’ll guarantee you parking, but we won’t tell you where,” he said. “That does not work for us.”  Davis went on to say that “I want a clean template to build one of the nicest places in the Bay Area, the acreage and the land is the starting point. If we get a commitment on the land, we can go out and market this thing.”  Davis offered his own blueprint for getting a new stadium built in Oakland, saying he could possibly bring aboard someone to invest in both the team and a new facility if he gets full control over the 120-acre Coliseum complex.
Both the A’s owner Lewis “Lew” Wolff,  and Davis are now on record saying they need to control the sprawling stadium site if they are to build a new stadium there. And both Wolff and Davis have expressed little interest in developing the surrounding land — instead preferring to prioritize parking and freeway access for fans.  Asked for his vision of a revamped Coliseum complex, Davis said “a football stadium, parking, and … some type of ancillary development, but not on the scale that they’re talking about.”
NFL owners are meeting in Houston on Jan 12 and 13  where it is possible that they will decide between a Los Angeles area stadium proposal submitted by both the Raiders and San Diego Chargers or a competing plan offered by the St. Louis Rams.

While the City of Oakland wants the Raiders to head the stadium project, it also wants the stadium to be part of a much larger development that would generate significant tax revenue. Mayor Schaaf said the city was open to a deal that would give the Raiders control of the land, possibly through a long-term lease, but only if it included benefits for the city and came at a fair market price. Meanwhile, with the help of an NFL stadium loan, the Raiders are offering to pay $500 million toward an estimated $900 million, 55,000-seat stadium.  Davis said that controlling all of the Coliseum land would put the Raiders in position to bring aboard an investor to buy up to 20 percent of the team, invest in the stadium and potentially develop portions of the property into the “homes, shops and offices” that the city wants.

Davis commented  that “The (funding gap) comes down with equity in the team, but right now we don’t have any land to go out and do anything with.” Mayor Schaaf  said Tuesday that development rights to the surrounding land could go toward stadium financing, and the city has offered to finance the estimated $90 million in infrastructure improvements needed at the stadium site.  Not including any specifics for a stadium deal, Mayor Schaaf’s letter focuses on the Bay Area’s thriving economy and the Coliseum’s prime location. If and how much that will matter to Davis and the Raiders,  the mayor admitted is up in the air. The mayor went on to say that “At the end of the day, a lot of this is for the Raiders to decide, and we are really hopeful that the Raiders know that Oakland is part of the Raiders and the Raiders are part of Oakland.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy acknowledged late Tuesday receipt of the letter, stating that “It is consistent with what we had been expecting as we have been in close contact with various officials.” There was no further comment by McCarthy or the NFL.

The letter can be read in full by here :

Star tuned to WWW.RAIDERSGAB.COM for more on the potential new stadium and possible move to LA.

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