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Oakland mayor wants to renew lease then focus on new stadium


OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Oakland Raiders fans show ‘Stay In Oakland’ signs during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Coliseum on December 24, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Lachlan Cunningham

As the 49ers prepare to host the Super Bowl, the Raiders aren’t preparing to do anything because they don’t know where they will be.

Oakland, meanwhile, is preparing to try to keep the Raiders over the long haul.

Appearing on KTVU on Sunday night, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf explained that the goal is to secure a renewal of the lease for the Raiders at Coliseum before then focusing on negotiations with team owner Mark Davis that would lead to a “permanent, beautiful home for those Raiders” in Oakland.

At a time when taxpayer money is scarce for stadium projects, Schaaf mentioned only that “limited public tools” would be available to assist the process.

On the question of whether the Raiders’ flirtations with various other cities were more about leverage than finding a new home, Schaaf didn’t show her hand. “We’re waiting for Mark to explore his options, which he absolutely has the right to do,” she said.

But a hint of skepticism emerged when asked how she felt about the news that Davis was exploring the possibility of a stadium in Las Vegas. “I have spent the whole year as mayor looking at pictures of a stadium in Carson,” Schaaf said, in reference to a much-hyped project that failed to secure league approval.

Schaaf said that the team’s preferred $900 million Oakland stadium “can be done.” In the end, however, the question will be whether Oakland can or will do enough to make Davis ignore other options elsewhere.

Or, ultimately, whether the Raiders and the NFL will take the best deal they can get in Oakland, with talk of moving the team aimed merely at making the best deal even better.