Ronnie Lott Group To Be Developer Of Oakland Raiders NFL Stadium Coliseum City
Haters of the idea of the Oakland Raiders remaining in Oakland, and are so jonesing for a relocation to Las Vegas they are (as of this moment in fact) attending the meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee hoping for some crumb of information that would push their agenda are in for a bellyache.
After a lot (excuse the pun) of talks with a number of officials and friends, I can tell you this now – indeed, it is important so as to destroy the lie that Oakland’s not doing a thing to retain the Raiders. The group of builders, bankers, and investors assembled by Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers NFL Hall Of Fame Legend Ronnie Lott have been quietly working with what I will call “East Bay Officials” to present a plan not just for the development of a stadium for the Raiders, but the ultimate development of between 35 and 40 acres of land around it.
Within weeks, the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will be presented with a resolution that will call for the approval of a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the East Bay Officials and Ronnie Lott’s Group.
Now, before you start thinking of Floyd Kephart, let’s discard that idea right now; Lott’s group is of such economic power it’s capable of financing the construction of the entire proposed stadium in much the same way that LA Rams’ Owner Stan Kronke set up a network of eight banks to back the construction of his privately financed stadium in Inglewood, California. The only public investment that might be required is for infrastructure, and that’s being worked out as I write this.
Moreover, Lott’s group is has an ally in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has stated more than once his desire that the Raiders remain in Oakland with what he calls a “long term stadium solution”.
Now, you are probably wondering why the resolution would call for an MOU and not an “Exclusive Negotiating Agreement”? That came directly from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s lack of desire to send a message that the East Bay Officials were locked into one deal process they could not get out of should things go wrong. It’s not that an ENA would not be done, but the Mayor wants to make sure that all of the details are worked out.
That’s a good idea because the ENA process with Kephart’s New City Development Corporation and done under now former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was a total disaster. No one could talk to anyone else, even to suggest an adjustment to Kephart’s plan that would improve the total approach. Now, there’s more room to adjust Lott’s plan to achieve success. It’s not that Mayor Schaaf doesn’t want Lott’s Group, she does – but Libby is very much concerned that everything be done to make the plan a certainty. And that includes the much talked about Land Proposal to the Oakland Raiders.
The formation of the Land Proposal is still in its forming stages but the process is going well, I’m told. You should expect some news on this probably around the same time that news of the MOU officially comes to public view.
In closing, keep in mind that the general plan for Coliseum City was approved by the Oakland City Council last year – the only hole in the plan was for the stadiums for baseball and football. Now, efforts are underway to close that gap and in a way that takes as little public investment as possible.