Standing in front of impassioned fans of the "Silver and Black", Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Saturday made a last-ditch effort to convince the Raiders and the NFL that the East Bay city is the football franchise's rightful home as opposed to Las Vegas.
Schaaf, who was born and raised in Oakland, said the city presented the NFL with a stadium plan that would lead to the construction of a new $1.3 billion home for the Raiders in the East Bay using private funds. The last-minute proposal was submitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week.
"What I ask the Raiders and the NFL to focus on is what we have on the table right now," Schaaf said.
Drawing cheers, chants and standing ovations from Raider fans in the crowd, Schaaf presented a slew of reasons as to why Oakland can provide what the Raiders need.
She pointed out that the city has a public-private finance package in place to fund the construction of a new stadium. Oakland will chip in $200 million to build the public infrastructure and pay for the preparation of the site, Schaaf said. The city's general fund will never be touched to fund the build. Rather, construction will be paid off using revenue generated at the stadium. Schaaf reiterated that $600 million in private funds will come from the Fortress Investment Group and NFL Hallf of Hamer and 49ers legend Ronnie Lott.
"You get a smart, responsible financial package that does not saddle the Raiders with an unmanageable debt load or expose them to the uncertainties of starting from scratch in a completely untested market," Schaaf said.
The proposed stadium would be built on 55 acres south of the Coliseum. The land is available immediately, according to Schaaf.
Schaaf also highlighted the fact that the Raiders will not have to share a site that currently houses the Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors. The Warriors will be playing in San Francisco by 2019 and the Athletics' new ownership group is talking about new stadium plans as well.
"But even in the event that (the Athletics) stay at the current site, there is enough room for everyone," Schaaf said.
While promoting the stadium plan in place, Schaaf made sure to thwart any myths about the city not doing enough earlier to prevent a potential exodus.
"There is a story out that that we are here to dispell and it goes something like this," she said. "People are saying that Oakland's efforts to build a new stadium have been stalled for years. Nothing has changed and therefore the Raiders have no choice but to leave. We are calling bull---t on that."
The fate of the Raiders will be decided on Monday when NFL owners vote on a possible relocation.
Raiders owner Mark Davis needs 24 of the 32 NFL owners to sanction the team's third move in 35 years. If he gets approval, it is ultimately his decision as to whether or not the Raiders will jump ship and head to Las Vegas.
In the meantime, Schaaf on Saturday sent a message to the Raiders and Davis.
"Forget the temptations of 'Sin City,'" she said. "This is your home."