The City of Oakland remains committed to keeping the Raiders in Oakland, despite the fact it can’t meet the NFL’s Dec. 30 deadline for home markets to submit a rock solid, executable stadium proposal before the league discusses and possibly decides on relocation to Los Angeles.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a Tuesday press conference the East Bay process can’t be rushed or pushed into poor decision making. As Oakland expressed in a letter to the NFL, an East Bay stadium proposal is not close to being complete. That fact was long expected by the league, which has closely monitored stadium progress in Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis, home to three teams expected to apply for relocation to Los Angeles.
The Raiders and Chargers have joined forces on a stadium proposal in Carson, while the Rams have a competing proposal in Inglewood.
Schaaf said Oakland and the Raiders are in early stages of a stadium proposal to build a new NFL stadium on the existing Coliseum site.
“We’re in the discussion phase,” Schaaf said. “We haven’t even entered what you would call negotiations.”
Schaaf said a binding stadium proposal submitted to the team would require approval from the Oakland city council and the Alameda County board of supervisors.
Schaaf discussed creative financing possibilities, as she has in the past, this time detailing the use of new revenue streams that she called development value, money generated by the stadium – property taxes paid by the Raiders, for example -- to pay off debt created by construction.
The Raiders and the NFL can commit roughly $500 million to stadium construction, and Oakland is willing to put forth over $100 million for infrastructure. Schaaf has been consistent in her stance that no public funds will be used for stadium construction.
She did say Tuesday that Oakland and Alameda County have made significant progress on the prospect of paying down the roughly $120 million remaining debt from the O.co Coliseum expansion that enticed the Raiders to return to Oakland in 1995.
None of these ideas can stop the Raiders from leaving for Los Angeles if owners approve their application to relocate back to Southern California.
It’s no surprise that Oakland wasn’t ready to meet the Dec. 30 deadline.
“Oakland has been very open and honest with the NFL throughout the process about where we are and what we need to do to get to a formal agreement,” Schaaf said. “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 the Oakland is part of the Raiders and that the Raiders are part of Oakland.
“While the constraints that the city has are not ideal for the Raiders, we believe that continued discussions and negotiating some terms can result in something that benefits all stakeholders, from the team to the fans to the taxpayers that we represent.”
There are some sticking points. Schaaf said the Raiders want control of game-day revenues, the game-day experience and the parking.
“We need to make sure our taxpayers are not left on the hook, and that we’re making smart investments with the public dollar and that we’re making smart land use decisions,” Schaaf said.
Lead Oakland negotiator Claudia Cappio said that third-party developers have inquired about getting involved in this construction project, and said the Raiders are also able to bring one to the table. Schaaf said that any decision on that land use will keep the Raiders and the NFL as the project’s center.
She also said that Raiders fans seem to understand Oakland’s predicament, with wanting to keep the team without hindering the city’s other objectives in the process.
“Raiders fans seem to be understanding of the fact that Oakland does not have a big check to write,” Schaaf said. “We can not solve this problem easily.”