NFL Executive: ‘Carbon Copy' Flaws With Proposal for New Raiders Stadium

A term sheet outlining a stadium proposal designed to keep the Raiders in Oakland is getting pushed through the system on Tuesday.

It was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday afternoon, and the Oakland City Councial is expected to vote on it later Tuesday evening.

City and county approval would provide a 60-day exclusive negotiating window to shore up several holes in a deal that includes public subsidy for infrastructure, money from the NFL and the Raiders and a significant investment from a group led by Ronnie Lott and Fortress Investment Group.

While the proposal has created optimism in the Bay Area, the Raiders haven’t been a part of this plan. All of their focus has been centered on relocating to Las Vegas, where $750 million in public funds and significant private investment has been allocated for a $1.9 billion stadium project.

The NFL has issues with the current Oakland plan.

“I think the intentions are good,” NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman, the league frontman on relocation issues, told USA Today Sports on Tuesday at the league meetings. “But I don’t think there’s been any progress that suggests a breakthrough anytime soon.”

Grubman also told USA Today that a meeting between the NFL, Raiders officials and supporters of the Oakland plan met Monday to discuss the term sheet released last week.

The NFL prefers cities deal directly with NFL teams over third-party investors.

“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.”

The league believes there are similarities with the Lott group’s plan and failed stadium concepts of the past, including a maligned plan constructed by investor Floyd Kephart.

“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 Raiders are expected to apply for relocation in January. They need 24 NFL owners to approve their bid to move. If the Raiders have the votes, approval could come early next year.

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