On Egbert Perry, Ronnie Lott, Mayor Libby Schaaf, The Oakland Raiders NFL Stadium Deal To Date
Egbert Perry, the Fannie Mae Board Member and Chairman and CEO of The Integral Group, a real estate development organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, and his business associate Sorina Givelichian of Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC, may have learned a little something about trying to punk an NFL Hall of Famer: Ronnie Lott. Especially one that has an signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Oakland and The County of Alameda to develop the Coliseum property and a stadium for the Oakland Raiders.
Perhaps Mr. Perry’s association with Ms. Givelichian and with a wonderfully colorful set of hedge fund managers caused him to think he could pull a fast one, as one of my sources seems to believe.
For reasons that I’m not able to completely pin down at this time, a letter of intent sent directly to me via an Oakland Raiders fan, and that contains an offer to buy the Oakland Coliseum Stadium and the land (but not Oracle Arena), from a group that does not include Ronnie Lott (so reports that there are “ties” to Lott, or “led by Ronnie Lott” as if this move was done on his behalf, aren’t correct), but has the following: Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC, which, according to the letter, is owned and controlled by Legacy Investment Partners LLC, which is owned by New York-based Park South Capital LLC.
In turn, those entities are managed by Investment Banker Sorina Givelichian, who’s Linkedin has her listed as “Director, Institutional Solutions at Russell Investment Group” of Toronto, Canada. Ms. Givelichian looks for every bit like a cross between a Bond Girl and “Max”, the character played by Vanessa Redgrave in Tom Cruise’ Mission Impossible.
Moreover, Sorina Givelichian’s Twitter account @sgivelichian is protected, which means she doesn’t want you to see what she’s tweeting about. My guess is it has something to do with the newly hatched work she and Perry are doing in trying to acquire sports and entertainment-related properties. Like in Arizona.
The same Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC sent a similar letter of intent to the Maricopa County Stadium District over one month ago, August 11th. In that case, they offered $60 million for Chase Field Stadium. That letter contains an intent to “raise its offer to match appraised value” – something to note and which could apply to the Oakland Coliseum Land Offer by the same Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC.
The difference between the two Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC deal proposals is that the Oakland one is centered around a proposed price of $167,360,000 – and which they say is a price that can defease “the current bond obligation” of $165,360,000. That refers to the remaining payments that are split between the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda from the original “Raiders Deal” that altered the Oakland Coliseum to accommodate the needs of both the Silver and Black and the perennial tenants the Oakland Athletics, but was not made to a state-of-the-art stadium standard at that time.
(And explains the reason for a number of stadium maintenance and facility design adjustment needs that were noted on a so-called ‘punch list’ made in 1997 by Ezra Rapport, then Oakland’s Assistant City Manager, and the architect of the original “Raiders Deal”.)
Thus, two things are clear: the offering price by Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC was only given to help deal with the bond debt remaining, and was not based on an assumption of land value, however, it’s quite clear Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC is capable of offering more money to the City of Oakland and The County of Alameda.
But it’s also clear that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is not ready to deal with Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC at this time (maybe later).
Mayor Schaaf called while I was writing this post to say the following:
“Its my understanding that Egbert Perry and Ronnie Lott both know each other and are friendly,” she said, “The only people that formally represent the Lott Group are Lott and Rodney Peete to my understanding.”
Schaaf continued “We aren’t considering it for recommendation at this time because we want an agreement with the NFL. I am committed to keeping the Raiders and The League at the center of the deal. We can’t give up our right to control the destiny of what happens to that land (at the Coliseum). A new stadium that keeps the Raiders in Oakland, but is responsible to the team, the league and the taxpayer – and enhances economic vitality around the Coliseum and delivers community benefits.”
NFL Executive Vice President for Business Affairs Eric Grubman visited Oakland and not just for the Raiders game against the visiting Atlanta Falcons. On Grubman’s visit, she said “I appreciated Eric joining me for meetings with business leaders, and supporting my effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland. Everyone has a part to play in maintaining this community asset.”
And while we were talking, I asked Mayor Schaaf about the news that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said he was going to call a special session of the Nevada Legislature to vote on the recommendations of the Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee, including the $750 million for developing an NFL-ready stadium for the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Libby said the following: “I take the Las Vegas threat very seriously. I remain convinced that Oakland is a stronger market for the NFL than Las Vegas will ever be. And in spite of the threat, I remain committed to my approach regarding public funds.”
So, in closing, while Stadium Real Estate Partners LLC’s proposal may not be right at this time, it’s a signal that there are players with a lot of money they control involved in the Coliseum City deal. Mr. Lott has not been ‘pushed out’ of this at all, and has his MOU as his dance card.
But the beauty of the MOU approach that Mayor Schaaf called for is that the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda can talk to and bring in well-healed investors capable of executing a privately-financed deal for a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders, all the while keeping Lott at the center of the action.