Officials unveil Hail Mary plan to keep Raiders in Oakland

OAKLAND (BCN) City of Oakland and Alameda County officials today made a last-minute pitch to the National Football League to keep the Raiders in Oakland and not to approve the team's plan to move to Las Vegas.

Raiders owner Mark Davis hasn't shown any interest in Oakland's plan to build a new stadium and is hoping that at a meeting early next week NFL owners will approve his competing plan to move the team to Las Vegas.

Three-fourths of the league's 32 owners must approve any plan to move the team.

"We're not giving up in the fourth quarter," Schaaf said in a statement.

The mayor said, "Since I took office two years ago, I have been focused on taking a team-centered approach that is responsible to the Raiders, the NFL, the fans and the taxpayers of Oakland."

Schaaf said Oakland and Alameda County officials, along with an investment group headed by former San Francisco 49er star Ronnie Lott and the Fortress Investment Group of New York, have done the necessary work to offer a solid plan to build a $1.3 billion stadium on the current site of the Coliseum.

Schaaf said, "All that's missing is the Raiders."

Lott said in a statement, "I know how passionate the Bay Area is about the Raiders. To rip this team away from Oakland for a second time would be heartbreaking and entirely unnecessary given that we have a viable option on the table that keeps them here and helps this community and the team grow."

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that she made public today, Schaaf released details of the proposed Raiders project at the Oakland Coliseum site, including renderings of the site with only a new football stadium as well as of the site with both a new football stadium and a new baseball stadium that would be used by the Oakland A's.

Schaaf also acknowledged that the NFL's "fundamental concerns" are about the A's need to share the Coliseum with the Raiders until the new football stadium is ready.

"Your request that the A's rights to the Coliseum be truncated to accommodate a new (football) stadium on the site of the existing Coliseum is a very problematic request and we earnestly hope that your request is not a take-it-or-leave-it condition," Schaaf wrote.

She said, "Our opinion is that we do not need to choose between the A's and the Raiders."

Comparing Oakland's plan with Las Vegas' plan, Schaaf said, "We believe we have a superior proposal, at a proven site, in a much stronger market.

She said the Bay Area is the country's sixth-ranked market and Las Vegas is only ranked No. 40.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who serves on the board that oversees the Coliseum's operations, said it's looking like NFL owners will vote to approve moving the Raiders to Las Vegas but he said, "I think the NFL is making a mistake."

Haggerty said even if the NFL approves the plan to move the team to Las Vegas that plan might not come to fruition because he believes it's a bigger priority for Las Vegas' business leaders to build a new convention
center there than it is to build a new football stadium.

"The football stadium would only bring in revenue on weekends in the fall but a new convention center would bring in revenue throughout the year," Haggerty said.

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