Raiders stadium in Oakland will work great if Davis pays somehow, please refrain from holding breath

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has issued a statement in response to Matier & Ross’s San Francisco Chronicle column yesterday about two former NFL players seeking to invest in a new Raiders stadium:

Today’s San Francisco Chronicle contains inaccurate information I need to clarify. On May 23, I proactively contacted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to update him generally on what we’ve felt have been productive conversations with Raiders’ negotiator Larry MacNeil.

Having learned from what I believe was a past mistake of awarding an exclusive negotiating agreement to a developer not approved by the Raiders, I wanted to assure the Commissioner of my commitment to keeping the Raiders and NFL at the center of our efforts.

I did express to the Commissioner my interest in continuing discussions with the Ronnie Lott/Rodney Peete group and asked how the Commissioner would view my taking more meetings with them.

The Commissioner encouraged me to explore all avenues for partnership that might result in a successful project for Oakland, the Raiders and the NFL, assuming we not give away any rights without clear Raiders’ support. That is my intention in resuming discussions with them.

I continue to believe the Raiders can develop a new stadium in Oakland that is responsible to the team, its fans, the NFL and the taxpayers of Oakland. Oakland has worked hard to contribute the entitlements, development opportunities and infrastructure funding to our shared vision of a stadium-centered development at the Oakland Coliseum. I’m committed to continuing to work hard to realize this vision.

That’s a lot of words to say, “Hey, Roger Goodell didn’t tell me to meet with Lott and Peete, I told him that I was meeting with him.” Which, fine, spin, whatever, but it doesn’t actually say much about whether the Lott/Peete plan, which seems to involve putting cash into a stadium proposal in exchange for equity in the team, has any legs. That bit about “assuming we not give away any rights without clear Raiders’ support” seems to indicate that Lott and Peete haven’t actually talked to Raiders owner Mark Davis about their plan, and since Davis is the one who’d be actually giving something up — he’d have to hand over more than a quarter of the team stock to get $400 million in stadium funds — he’s the one who matters here. (As I’ve noted before, if Davis wanted to build an Oakland stadium by selling off a chunk of his team, he wouldn’t necessarily need Lott and Peete to do it.)

For now, I’m filing this under “due diligence” by Schaaf and Lott and Peete and even Goodell, while Davis awaits word on whether Las Vegas will gift him and his billionaire development partner who wants to buy the presidency with around a billion dollars in public subsidies in order to play there. Hey, there’s another benefit to Goodell of endorsing the Lott/Peete plan: Not only does it make him look good for encouraging African-American ownership and for trying to keep the Raiders in Oakland, it helps one of his team owners leverage more money out of Vegas by making it look like there’s a viable alternative! These sports barons, they see all the angles, don’t they?

5 comments on “Raiders stadium in Oakland will work great if Davis pays somehow, please refrain from holding breath

  1. Adelson wants to use tourist tax money to buy the Presidency? Wow. What a scandal. Neil, you should call an upstanding journalistic outlet and report that.

      • I get that this is your cause and you don’t want public tax money spent on stadiums, which is fine, but…
        At least with a stadium, you see where your money went and you can go their on a Sunday.
        How many people who are against public funded stadiums have actually looke in to local, state & federal budgets at all?
        If you (anyone against public funded stadiums) feel this strongly about wasting tax dollars, enough to speak out on it, then it’s hypocritical not to become informed about EVERYTHING your tax dollars are spent on!
        All of the “environmental studies” that are really just a kick back to someone’s company, that an associate of theirs made a campaign contribution.
        Or as a payback, to get someone’s support on another issue, so their nephew’s company gets a juicy government contract at twice of what it should be, etc.
        There is probably enough wasteful spending to build new stadiums for the entire NFL, if you really want to look into it.
        Everyone get’s all up in arms about “funding a billionaires stadium”, then once it’s over, they go back to being oblivious about where their tax dollars go?
        The next time you complain about tax money building a stadium, use that opportunity to think about all the other wasteful spending the government is doing that dwarfs the cost of that stadium, that you can at least see, visit and have a good time.

        • No, actually it’s perfectly fine, and not hypocritical at all, to be upset about one thing the government is doing even if you’re not up on everything that the government is doing wrong. Sort of like it’s okay to hate Adam Sandler for “Pixels” without having to watch all of his other movies first.

          That said, I write about other wasteful government subsidies all the time, just not usually for this site because it’s about stadiums.

          Finally, you can see, visit, and have a good time at a Raiders stadium right now. So the only benefit to doing so at a new stadium is if it provides a better experience, which is another focus of this site (and a whole chapter in my and Joanna Cagan’s book).

  2. Ya think Mayor Shcaff worked hard on on this phrase to ensure her limits to Oakland’s commitment were clear?:

    “Oakland has worked hard to contribute the entitlements, development opportunities and infrastructure funding to our shared vision….”

    Go mayor, Go!.