Raiders’ deal to play in Oakland hits major “snag,” unleashing torrent of terrible football metaphors

If you were on Team Go Play In The Street in the saga of where the Oakland Raiders will make their home for the 2019 season, great news! The deal for the team to return to Oakland for at least once more season has hit what the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Phil Matier is varyingly calling a “snag” or a “glitch”:

“We have one significant open issue that needs to be resolved,” Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben said Wednesday.

McKibben declined to say what the snag was. However, sources say it involves the finances and taxes of the Raiders’ headquarters and training facility in Alameda. The team pays $525,000 annual rent for the training facility.

Okay, so Raiders execs are just balking at paying half a million dollars in rent on their training facility, on top of $7.5 million in rent for the Oakland Coliseum? That seems like a resolvable—

“Hopefully, we will be able to settle it,” McKibben said. “This could very likely put us in a position where there is not a deal.”

Okay, maybe not.

That’s all we know for now, but if you prefer your information presented in video form with Matier employing lots of terrible football metaphors (“what was supposed to be a simple play — a handoff to put the lease deal over the goal line — wound up as a fumble”), here you go!


11 comments on “Raiders’ deal to play in Oakland hits major “snag,” unleashing torrent of terrible football metaphors

  1. Terms on the _expired_ leases allowed the Raiders to use / keep hold of the Alameda training facility for 3 years beyond the move, and that relinquishing the Alameda lease absolves the team of any debt having to do with Mount Davis.

    These terms (or lack thereof on the new lease) may be relevant to a “snag”.

  2. Watching this circus play out you’d think the Raiders had just realized a week or two ago that they were going to have to play someplace. Instead, they’ve known about this for a couple years already. Immediately fter announcing their move they should have 1) Secured a place to play until the move and 2) Assuming Oakland was the first choice, picked out an alternate site just in case tensions flared and Oakland didn’t work out.

    There is zero reason this deal shouldn’t have been roughed in over a year ago. And why would the Raiders have assumed they WOULDN’T have to pay rent on their headquarters and training facility?

    • My sense is they planned on easy negotiations for a lease extension with Oakland, before the city’s antitrust suit caused Davis to go off on a hissy fit. Not sure why they didn’t have terms prepared in the event they decided to come back to the table, but the pressure of the NFL needing to set a schedule for this fall may be turning a minor speed bump into a more major snag, since there now isn’t much time to work it out.

      • The NFL shares some of the blame because it’s kind of unbelievable they didn’t talk to Davis early on and make him present them with a contingency plan. If Davis thought Oakland negotiations would be easy, that’s fine. But the league should have been working behind the scenes to make sure there was someplace to play in the event things didn’t work out. Keystone Cops levels of ineptitude watching the Raiders talk to everybody who has a stadium within 500 miles over the past month, desperately trying to find a Plan B on the fly. And that behavior certainly doesn’t put them in stronger negotiating position with Oakland. Oakland now knows they’re basically the only workable option–and that becomes more true with every passing minute. At some point they’ll be able to just issue the ultimatum that the price will be increasing every hour until the Raiders sign.

        • I hope they use that leverage, Jeff. However, at some point the amount Oakland can reasonably ask is beyond what it would cost the Raiders to play their games at a neutral site where (essentially) no fans will show up and no concession or other merch will be sold.

          There is a practical upper limit to what Oakland can charge is all. I don’t know what that number is… probably several million per game.. $4m, $6m?

  3. Phil Matier goes on KCBS radio every morning to talk about some local or state issue in very general and vague terms without really offering any sort of resolution, opinion, or even particularly useful information. He’s really good at it.

  4. Didn’t Al Davis intend on making sure that his kid would, under no possible circumstance, end up running the Raiders? And then he died (intestate, if I recall accurately).

    Some of us thought that this was just Al being an ass (not unprecedented, of course). But maybe he had good reason to feel this way.

    I still believe that the debt the franchise has taken on as part of the LV move could lead to Davis losing control of the club… the keyword I will be looking for 4-5 years from now is the ‘decision to take on a minority shareholder’. I’m sure the league has several potential partners lined up for this opportunity….

    • Mark and Carol Davis (Al’s wife) own 47% which gives them the a controlling share. I haven’t been able to find the split of the 47% between Carol and Mark. But Carol would have inherited the team tax free. The issue for Mark is then Carol dies and the estate tax comes for him.

    • I think the goal of the NFL is for the Davis family to lose control and be forced to sell.

    • The Raiders ownership is an irrevocable trust with Carol Davis the majority shareholder, and Mark Davis as Managing Trustee (her choice). Last I’d heard, the Davises had re-acquired the Winkenbach shares, as well as others from several other small shareholders, putting them with over 2/3’s shares outright.

      • Thanks. I’d heard that they were pursuing the minority shareholders (who Al had been ripping off for decades, of course) too, but am not sure what the status is.