Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf is exuding confidence as the league’s relocation vote nears, telling Raiders fans to “keep the faith” and noting that owner Mark Davis wants to stay in Oakland, according to a Bay Area News Group report.
The city and the Raiders have not generated a functional stadium plan yet, but Oakland will present its next proposal to the league on Dec. 29 or Dec. 30, the News Group’s report indicates. Although the league is not expecting a final proposal at that time.
The Raiders’ Los Angeles relocation proposal is expected to be heard by the NFL on Jan. 12 or Jan. 13.
Schaaf indicated she’s committed to keeping the Raiders in Oakland in a feasible way for taxpayers. While the mayor said the city won’t help the Raiders directly pay to build a new stadium, it will make payments for infrastructure enhancements on the 120-acre Coliseum site set to be publicly owned.
“We won’t put any public funds at risk,” Schaaf said. “… We have two things that no other city has: a fully entitled site and a team ownership that consistently says it wants to make it work in Oakland.”
Most current reports have the Raiders lagging behind the more financially sound Chargers and Rams in the Los Angeles pursuit, but a recent report listed the Raiders-Chargers Carson proposal as the preferred relocation plan of the Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities — the six-owner coalition with the most sway on this matter.
Here are some more updates on the Western-division teams’ pursuit of an LA move.
- Oakland and the Raiders are engaging in frequent talks, but with nothing imminent, the city may be in need of the NFL voting down the Raiders’ relocation effort to create more substantive stadium negotiations, Matthew Artz of the Bay Area News Group reports. “We have to play this out,” Oakland Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio told Artz. “If the vote is not in their favor for Los Angeles, we come to the table with different leverage and needs, and I think we can begin to have talks in a different way.” The Rams are seen as having best plan from a funding standpoint, with the Chargers holding the most trust from the owners, Ohio University sports business professor Robert Boland told Artz. “Keeping the Raiders in Oakland is probably the least-difficult scenario for the NFL,” Boland said. Only four teams — the Packers, Bears, Saints and Bills — sport a stadium older than the Raiders’, which opened in 1966.
- San Diego runs a greater risk of losing its team and now is contending with millions being lost in the mere research for a potential stadium site, Jeff McDonald of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The city’s spent $1.6MM in research for the Mission Valley site. However, $2.35MM has been set aside for such expenditures, as the team prepares to potentially play its final two games as the San Diego Chargers. Should the Chargers leave for Los Angeles, the aforementioned research could be used to woo another team in the future. “Regardless of what ultimately happens with the NFL, this environmental impact report is valuable to taxpayers,” Craig Gustafson, a spokesman for mayor Kevin Faulconer, told McDonald. “The environmental studies and analysis in the report can be used for a new NFL stadium, demolishing the current stadium or other future projects on the site.”