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Minority investors want to block Raiders move to Las Vegas

A group of predominantly African-American investors, led by former Oakland Raiders players Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete, have met with team and city officials about developing a stadium to keep the NFL team in California.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that Lott and Peete met with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff. She said she and the Oakland City Council soon would negotiate directly with the team. The Raiders are considering a move to Las Vegas if a new stadium is built here.

An Oakland spokeswoman verified Monday that the city is continuing negotiations with the Raiders and would only review proposals first vetted by the team.

The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to continue discussions about a proposed $1.4 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium east of the Strip. Committee representatives don’t expect to complete a stadium financing plan for at least two months.

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Majestic Realty are leading the effort to build the stadium with a combination of private money and about $750 million in public funds. When he appeared before the tourism committee in April, Raiders owner Mark Davis pledged $500 million, including a $300 million loan from the NFL, toward the domed stadium.

The Chronicle reported that Lott and Peete would be master developers of a 120-acre site in Oakland. Other members of the investment group are Atlanta developer Egbert Perry, CEO of Integral, a real estate and investment firm, and chairman of the board of Fannie Mae. Integral is one of the largest black-owned businesses in the United States.

The Chronicle reported other investors include Walnut Creek, California, sports agent Bill Duffy, who represents Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson and Festus Ezeli, and Seth Hamalian, founder of the Mission Bay Development Group.

The report gave no indication how much money the group, backed by a hedge fund, would put into the deal, but said the group is interested in gaining minority ownership of the Raiders. Only one NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, isowned by an ethnic minority, Pakistani-born Shahid Khan.

More meetings are expected to occur this week with members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which also would have to sign off on a deal, the Chronicle reported.

Las Vegas Sands officials declined to comment on the report.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta

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