Oakland’s $1.3B stadium plan for Raiders: Get NFL to reject Vegas move, figure out details later

Finally, we have some details — sort of — for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and former-NFL-player-turned-developer Ronnie Lott’s stadium plan to keep the Raiders in Oakland. And it looks like this:

  • $600 million from Lott’s investment group
  • $300 million from Raiders owner Mark Davis
  • $200 million in G-4 funding from the NFL
  • $200 million in “infrastructure” spending by the city of Oakland and Alameda County

That comes to $1.3 billion, and you can certainly build a respectable stadium for that. The unanswered question, though, is: Who would get the revenues from the place? The San Francisco Chronicle report indicates that the public money “would be repaid from revenue generated by the stadium project,” and further that “the city and county would share some percentage of non-football revenues at the stadium,” though that might be targeted for paying off the remaining $95 million in debt on the Oakland Coliseum’s 1990s expansion. And what about football revenues? Would Lott’s group want some of those (probably), or be content with proceeds from building a retail development project around the stadium (probably not, since they’d have to pay for that separately from their $600 million in stadium expenses)? Is there enough money in this whole thing that everyone could possibly be made whole? (I really doubt it, since there not being enough revenues to go around is what made the previous private developer’s plan crash and burn.)

All this isn’t really any more detailed that the rough sketch that had been floating around before Schaaf announced it last week, so it’s not really clear what she had to gain from—

The hope is that the show of support will be enough for the NFL owners to block the team’s move to Nevada and open the door to the locals talking directly with Davis, which he has refused to do as long as the Las Vegas deal is on the table.

Oh, right. So take this less as actual stadium plan, and more as “Hey, NFL owners who may be having second thoughts about this whole ‘put a team in Vegas and hope that tourists buy season tickets thing,’ don’t listen to Davis when he says Oakland doesn’t care about him, we’re giving you an out if you want to vote no!” Given that NFL owner votes are known to be swung by ridiculous things, it’s not the worst gambit, really.

26 comments on “Oakland’s $1.3B stadium plan for Raiders: Get NFL to reject Vegas move, figure out details later

  1. Leave it to Oakland to suggest the same plan that has failed more than once already and pretend it’s something different and new.

  2. There were a couple of other interesting items in the article.

    First this statement and “sourced” quote:

    “There has been no input from Raiders owner Mark Davis, who down the road may be asked to sell part of the team to Lott and his partners. ‘That’s something they will talk about after the stadium deal gets done,’ said one source who is privy to the talks but not authorized to speak on the record.”

    Crazy that a deal would get “done” and THEN they talk about ownership right (or who gets what revenue). Of course, that seems to be happening in Vegas too in regards to revenue sharing. I wonder if Davis is realizing that no one wants to build him a stadium unless they get equity or he becomes a tenant.


    “The city and county would also lease 125 acres of Coliseum property to the Oakland City Pro Football Group, led by former 49er and Raider Lott and fellow former NFL player Rodney Peete. About 90 acres would be reserved for the new 55,000- to 58,000-seat stadium, plus about 8,500 parking spaces. The remaining 35 acres would be devoted to a mixed-use retail development, probably featuring restaurants, sports bars and other forms of entertainment — plus, possibly, a hotel.”

    I imagine that Davis would try to put the kibosh on this deal for the mere fact that there are only 8500 parking spaces. He seems to want the entire planet to tailgate before the game.

    Anyone have an idea of the total acreage of the property is? Wondering if there is more property to develop.

    • The entire Coliseum property, including the Malibu and Home Base lots (currently unused except for occasional overflow parking, I believe), but *excluding* Oracle Arena comes to 126.86 acres.

      So, yeah, that’s all of it.

      Alameda County Assessors’ Map book 41, page 3901
      (main Coliseum site)
      book 42, page 4328
      (Home Base/Malibu lots)

      • Thanks for the digging. Confirms my thinking.

        Unless Davis gets forced to stay in oakland by owners who don’t want to be in Vegas or don’t think its viable, he will likely either need to be a tenant or give up some equity (or both).

        Can’t see Oakland adding to their ante and there is a $600M gap to fill by Davis (unlikely) or someone else.

          • The other NFL owners can set the relocation fee, so they pretty much have the ability to decide where Davis goes even without voting on a relocation.

          • Does he have to pay the relocation fee if he became a tenant of the 49’ers? That option seems so logical.

          • Tom, it’s what the NFL (on some level) thinks is logical as well. It’s why they mandated that the 49ers construct Levi’s Stadium to be able to host 2 home teams.

    • The amazing thing to me is that seemingly everybody involved somehow thinks Davis could be convinced AFTER THE FACT to give up part ownership. The billionaire in Vegas also wants part ownership but just like this deal with Lott and Company in Oakland there’s nothing in place ahead of time guaranteeing that and Davis would have to be talked into selling AFTER he had the keys to a new publicly funded stadium, at which time he wouldn’t need any of these other people any more.

  3. Wasn’t a part of the Rams-to-LA deal that the league would give $100 million each to the Raiders and Chargers toward the financing of new stadiums in their current home markets? So they should have a total of $300 million available coming from the league.

  4. That’s the difference between LV and most other cities, save NYC. “Oh, you want a stadium and it promotes our brand. Done!”. One of the things I appreciate most about the Valley, its “All about that action boss”. For better or worse.

    Good luck to Oakland, but there aren’t many places where potentially risky projects get done so quickly as in Southern Nevada.

  5. “…. or be content with proceeds from building a retail development project around the stadium…”

    Given that the primary reason for new stadium developments is ownership (or, at a minimum, total control) of the commercial space in and around the stadium itself, why would we believe that the Raiders wouldn’t demand all of this as well?

    A free stadium is nice, but the existing stadium is close to free for the Raiders so they don’t gain much other than a shiny new stadium with working plumbing (maybe). New facilities are all about the commercial space revenue (whether inside the stadium itself or not).

    As to why Lott and Peete want in on this, I can’t imagine. Unless they have a deal (or a plan) in place to take control of the Raiders somehow, they look to me to be working the same losing battle that the alleged private owners interested in the DBacks baseball stadium were. It’s great that they want to put $600m in to ‘save’ the Raiders (who aren’t in danger of extinction…), it’s just not clear how they get anything for their money besides than publicity.

  6. At 55,000 to 58,000 seating capacity, this hypothetical stadium would be immediately not qualified to host a Super Bowl – usually a “reward” by the NFL to cities that build shiny new things.

    • Depending on the configuration, they will figure out a way to cram more bodies in. They did it at the Jerry Dome and for Levi. Maybe they keep the Davis Deck as a movable section to bolt on when they need it. LOL

    • It is not impossible that the capacity could be expanded for “special” events. Many new facilities have been built with either open areas or “decks” that can hold temporary seating if additional capacity is required.

      55-58k might be too many seats for the Raiders actual level of demand… though this will pick up if they keep playing well, naturally.

  7. Neil, that breakdown of the numbers are not correct.

    Oakland is giving $90-$100 mil for infrastructure upgrades, not $200 mil.

    The NFL would contribute $300 mil, not $200 mil. $200 mil from the G-Fund plus $100 mil from when Carson was killed. That $100 mil can ONLY be used for a stadium in Oakland.

    Maiter & Ross have yet again wrote a flawed write up without doing their research.

    • What’s your source for that, Keith? All the press reports I can find just repeat Matier & Ross’s figures.

    • Actually if you watch a video of an interview that Mayor Schaf did they ask her how much the city would put in for infrastructure and she clearly says about $190 million and the man interviewing her asks if it could go up and she continues on to say that it could but it would be around $190 so I don’t know where you’re getting your info from but it’s definitely not $90.

  8. Any thoughts on the A’s losing their small-market exception in the CBA that could force the issue for both the Raiders and A’s?

    • This increases the pressure on the A’s to do something fast. The Jack London Square site (Howard Terminal) and the sites around Laney College are not fast options. The Coliseum is, so I expect if the Raiders get the OK to move something will be done quickly.
      In my opinion, the Oakland mayor is just putting up a brave front with the Raiders so it doesn’t seem like she’s doing nothing–she knows the best hope of keeping a team is with the A’s, who will actually talk to her unlike Mark Davis.

      • Fair point. I think she has to appear to be working with both groups until which one stays or goes (if either) is sorted out.

        The costs associated with keeping the A’s in Oakland should be significantly lower than the cost for the Raiders (in part because of stadium size, in part because Davis appears willing to invest next to nothing while A’s ownership has been willing to spend some of their own money depending on the location and plan under consideration).

        Finally, if you can keep just one of the two, it makes more economic sense (or perhaps “be less nonsensical”) to spend money to keep the franchise that plays 81 home games than it does to keep the one that plays 8 – no matter how much bigger the football stadium is.

        If both franchises were willing to invest in their own facilities, it might be possible to keep both. Absent that it seems likely that one will go – unless their respective leagues both refuse relocation permission.

        • Just for reference, as it pertains to your allusion to attendance because of the difference between 8 and 81 home games, in 2015 the Raiders drew 436,910 fans to the Coliseum. In 2015, the A’s drew 1,768,175, which just slightly more than 4x as many.

  9. Details, details. These things always work out in the end in favor of NFL ownership – which is as it should be. It’s always fun to pit one city against another. I’m starting to think Vegas is the new L.A. Once we collect some public gravy on this Raiders deal, we’ll go scouting for the next team in line for a very important move!

  10. Latest update: detailed resolution came out Friday afternoon for a Tuesday morning vote, including $200 million in cash to the Raiders. Very slimy in content and how they’re trying to grease it through.