Oakland, Alameda announce plan to keep Raiders

OAKLAND (KTVU and BCN) -- The stakes are high and the clock is ticking, as the City of Oakland and Alameda County officials prepare for a vote Tuesday on a new proposal to build a $1.3 billion stadium for the Oakland Raiders and try to persuade the NFL owners to reject a plan by the team's owner to move the Raiders to Las Vegas.

After months of secret meetings, Oakland and Alameda County officials revealed a Coliseum Project Term Sheet late Friday. >>>>>Click here to see the report.

The last-minute release of a financial and development plan to build a new stadium and a mixed-use development prevents the public from having much time to examine and debate it before the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors vote on it on Dec. 13.

The City of Oakland and Alameda County have joint ownership of the 130 acres of land and each would need to approve the deal.

City and county officials are rushing to get the plan approved because National Football League owners could vote as early as January on the Raiders' plan to move to Las Vegas, which includes $750 million in hotel tax money approved by the state of Nevada.

The new Coliseum Project proposal would include building a new open air stadium for the Raiders with about 55,000 seats. The coliseum complex would include possible office space, retail, hotels, residential uses and parking.

Oakland officials say it will include mixed-use projects to support the cost of the stadium and create a "Grand Central Station-like development" around the property that incorporates and enhances the use of the Coliseum BART station.

City and county officials said the plan also contains a 15 acre site for a new baseball stadium for the Oakland A's should the team decide it wants to remain at the Coliseum site instead of building a new stadium on the Oakland waterfront or another site.

The proposal states that tentative financing is in place for $1.25 billion of the $1.3 billion price tag.

That includes public funding of $350 million dollars that involves $200 million for infrastructure and a long-term lease of the land or sale of the land, worth about $150 million.

Another $500 million would come from the Raiders, an NFL loan and seat licensing.

About $400 million dollars would come from former NFL star Ronnie Lott's investment group Oakland City Pro Football Group, LLC and Fortress Investment Group, LLC.

Ronnie Lott spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers but also played with the Raiders when they were in Los Angeles and with the New York Jets.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty said the Ronnie Lott Group and Fortress Investment Group of New York "care about our community and have the financial wherewithal to bridge the financing gap that has previously existed in our stadium talks."

He said, "They care about Alameda County and Oakland and keeping the Raiders here."

Haggerty said, "This is an important and united step forward to make a competitive offer to the Raiders and the NFL to encourage the team to stay here without using taxpayer monies.

Chris Dobbins, co-founder of the fan group Save Oakland Sports that is working to keep the team in Oakland, says the project is an attractive investment.

"You're right on the BART line, you're right on the Amtrak line, you're right connected to the airport near a major freeway, so it's the perfect spot in the Bay Area to develop," Dobbins said.

The stakes are high and time is short.

Dobbins says the NFL owners have a meeting scheduled December 14th and Raiders owner Mark Davis is expected to make his own pitch for the $1.9 billion deal to move the team to Las Vegas.

"One of their bylaws says a team cannot move if there's a viable plan in the home market. We hope this is a viable plan," Dobbins said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement, "This term sheet agreement puts Oakland in the running to keep the Raiders in a way that is responsible to the team, the league, the fans and the taxpayers."

Schaaf said, "Everything the city and county and the investor team is doing is about putting forward the best offer to encourage the Raiders ownership and the NFL to keep the Raiders in Oakland, where the team belongs."

Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid, who also chairs the board that oversees the Oakland Coliseum complex's operations, said, "This is the best plan the city and county have ever achieved in attempting to keep the Raiders in Oakland."

Reid said, "We are offering control of the land, a respected investment team, and no risk to taxpayers in putting this deal together. This shows the public, the Raiders' ownership and the NFL that there is a viable plan to remain in Oakland."

Former pro football player Rodney Peete, who heads Oakland Pro Football LLC along with Lott, said "This deal achieves many objectives. It shows the Raiders and the NFL that we are serious and insulates the city and county general funds from exposure."

Peete said the plan will create thousands of local jobs in the construction phase alone, thousands more from the operation of the stadium and create a new East Bay transportation hub.

Fortress Investment spokesman Gordon Runte said, "We are encouraged about the progress made to date on plans to present the Raiders and Bay Area with an attractive alternative that we believe can provide substantial long-term benefits to all stakeholders."

Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi and Auditor-Controller Steve Manning said in a memo to the Board of Supervisors Friday that the City of Oakland will invest $200 million to construct infrastructure, site preparations and other related expenses that are part of the scope of the project but aren't hard construction costs for the new stadium.

They said that will consist of a $100 million privately-placed bond secured by direct city taxes generated by the stadium and a $100 million enhanced infrastructure financial district bond or other financing secured by the city.

Muranishi and Manning said, "The city will not bond in any manner that puts the city's general purpose fund at risk" so the parties anticipate the probability that Lott's group or another private party will need to provide or secure bridge funding for part of the bonds.

The county officials said, "The county shall not have responsibility for contributing any funding or financing any improvements for the project.

Muranishi and Manning said the term sheet provides that neither Lott's group nor the Raiders will be responsible for the estimated $95 million debt for the 1995 renovation of the Coliseum that lured the football team back to Oakland.

They said, "The city and the county will need to address the existing Coliseum bond debt prior to conveying the project site."

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on the plan at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and the Oakland City Council will hold a hearing and vote at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

KTVU reporter Jana Katsuyama contributed to this report.

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