OAKLAND, Calif. — As the deadline nears for a decision on the Raiders’ planned relocation to Las Vegas, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is working to beat the clock and keep the NFL franchise home.
Oakland City Pro Football Group LLC, a team of investors fronted by former NFL star Ronnie Lott, is pledging $600 million in private money toward a stadium project on real estate near the Oakland Coliseum, the team’s outdated home, according to multiple reports.
The proposal comes in response to the Nevada Legislature’s approval of a financing plan for a 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion domed stadium in Las Vegas, a measure Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law Oct. 17.
Oakland’s plan calls for a $1.3 billion stadium financing plan that would be built with $200 million in public money, $200 million from the NFL and $300 million from the Raiders.
But the Raiders weren’t part of those negotiations.
Raiders owner Mark Davis is not changing his tune publicly, recently telling the Review-Journal he is “committed to Las Vegas.”
Davis was not involved in the formation of the plan, and he seems unlikely to listen if Lott’s group asks Davis to sell them an ownership stake in the team.
According to terms of the Oakland plan, the city and Alameda County would lease 125 acres of Coliseum property to Lott’s group, with approximately 90 acres used for a 58,000-seat stadium and a parking area.
Davis had sought a viable stadium plan in Oakland for eight years before turning his attention early this year to Las Vegas, where he landed a potential new home.
The Las Vegas plan calls for $750 million in public funding from a Clark County hotel room tax increase, plus contributions of $650 million from the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and $500 million from the Raiders.
Davis presented Las Vegas’ proposal at the NFL’s fall meeting Oct. 19 in Houston. The league’s next meeting is Dec. 14 in Dallas. Davis said he plans to officially file for relocation in January, and if the Raiders’ move comes to a vote, the team would need the support of 24 of 32 owners to approve the move.
According to multiple sources around the league, the Raiders are likely to receive enough votes to clear their path for relocation. However, Schaaf and Lott’s group of investors are hoping to present a plan that is strong enough to give NFL owners a reason to block or delay the team’s move to Las Vegas.
Lott did not respond to an interview request from the Review-Journal.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to keep the Raiders in Oakland. But Goodell’s stance is opposed by some powerful owners — most notably Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys — who have been promoting Las Vegas.
Schaaf, who became mayor in January 2015, said last week, “I’m respectful and sympathetic that Mark Davis has gotten to a big point of frustration with Oakland, and it’s my job to bring him a real deal that is competitive with Las Vegas or any other market.”
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.