Alameda Co. Supervisors Approve Negotiations on Oakland Stadium

OAKLAND — Alameda County supervisors approved opening negotiations with an investment group on a proposed $1.3 billion stadium project that backers hope will convince the Oakland Raiders to stay in the city.

The Oakland City Council also will consider the issue Tuesday night. If the council approves as well, the parties can start negotiating a formal agreement for a stadium project that includes $350 million in public money by way of land and future revenue.

The push for a new stadium project is being led by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, who played for the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, and former quarterback Rodney Peete. Three of five supervisors voted yes after more than three hours of testimony and discussion.

"What it comes down for me is trust and my mother would trust Ronnie Lott," said board President Scott Haggerty. "I trust this man and he's somebody I want to do business with, and I hope he's somebody (team owner) Mark Davis wants to do business with."

Earlier this year, Mark Davis said he was committed to moving the Raiders to Las Vegas, where a $1.9 billion stadium project has been approved. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf vowed to continue working on a counter-proposal for the Raiders to stay at the Oakland Coliseum.

A move to Nevada is not certain, although a vote by the NFL on whether to allow the move is possible as soon as January. Nevada will raise $750 million from a hotel tax to fund the stadium with billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson contributing $650 million and the Raiders and NFL kicking in $500 million. The Raiders must get approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners to move.

The Raiders also have the option of moving to the Los Angeles area, where they could share a facility with the recently relocated Rams.

In Oakland, approval from the city and county Tuesday would allow negotiations to begin with the investors' group managed by Lott and the Fortress Investment Group.

The parties have identified $1.25 billion in potential financing for a project that may cost upward of $1.3 billion for a 55,000-seat stadium that could include mixed-use retail in the future.

Lott's group would contribute $400 million, with the NFL and the Raiders contributing $500 million.

The city of Oakland would contribute $200 million for infrastructure such as storm drains and roadway parking. The money would be generated from bonds paid back from revenue created from the stadium and its surrounding commercial development.

The city and county would also contribute at least 100 acres of land, valued at $150 million. One of the issues to be determined, assistant city administrator Claudia Cappio said, is whether the land would be sold or leased.

Alameda County and Oakland also need to determine how to retire nearly $100 million in debt incurred for remodeling the current stadium to woo the team back from Los Angeles in 1995.

The Oakland Coliseum, which also hosts the MLB's Oakland Athletics, is aging and lacks the amenities found in newer stadiums.

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