City, county approve talks on Oakland Raiders stadium plan
The Oakland, Calif. City Council approved a resolution late Tuesday authorizing the city to negotiate with an investment group headed by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and former quarterback Rodney Peete to build a new football stadium for the Raiders.
The resolution, which is non-binding, calls for $350 million in public money to be used for the stadium.
"I think the intentions are good,” NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman told USA Today. “But I don’t think there’s been any progress that suggests a breakthrough anytime soon.”
Last year, a Raiders stadium proposal involving businessman Floyd Kephart failed.
"And I dare say if you pull up the descriptions of what the agreement was with Mr. Kephart when they entered into it and then the problems that ensued, it is a carbon copy of what they’re about to enter into today and the problems that are likely to ensue,” Grubman said.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors also approved the measure, something that does not sit well with the league.
"I think it’s a mistake to add third parties and fourth parties to what really should be a two-party negotiation,” Grubman said. “In this instance, you put someone who needs to profit and you may put other motivations in there. The core task is to find something that works for the Raiders and the community, and when you put developers in or other third parties, then you’re going to have there the things that are important to them in the conversation. And that’s what happened two years ago and one year ago and I think that’s what happening now.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis has expressed an interest in moving the team to Las Vegas and the state of Nevada has moved forward with approving a bill for $750 million in public funding that would go towards a $2 billion stadium project located near the Las Vegas Strip.
The Raiders are eligible for relocation, and could get league approval as soon as next month, but 24 of the 32 NFL owners must sign off on any relocation before the team entertains such a move.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that it would be an "ideal scenario" for the Raiders and San Diego Chargers, who also are having issues getting a new stadium built, to stay in their current cities.
- Scooby Axson