Ronnie Lott-led investors fighting to keep Raiders in Oakland

By The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 21, 2016 at 12:03 PM
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The City of Oakland and an investment group tied to Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott engaged in negotiations geared on selling O.co Coliseum and keeping the Raiders from bolting for Los Angeles or Las Vegas.

According to the East Bay Times, Stadium Real Estate Partners and The Integral Group made an informal offer to buy the Coliseum and the surrounding land for $167.3 million. The goal would be renovating the stadium or building a "state-of-the-art" facility to entice the Raiders to resist moving to Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

A 90-day memorandum of understanding allows the investment group a brief window to work out short- and long-term details.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Sept. 18 that "a lot has to happen" for the Raiders to be granted approval to relocate to Las Vegas.

Negotiations between the City of Oakland and the Raiders have not advanced significantly in eight years and owner Mark Davis has made major progress toward a shared 65,000-seat dome stadium site in Las Vegas.

A committee in Las Vegas recommended Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval impose a $750 million Clark County hotel tax to help pay for the estimated $1.9 billion stadium. The Raiders would contribute $500 million and the Chairman of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, pledged up to $650 million.

"Recognizing that they came out of committee with a bill, but there's still a lot of work to be done to improve that recommendation," Goodell said. "Well, you never want to see a community lose their franchise once, much less twice. The Minnesota community did that in a great way. I think we can do it in Oakland. I think there's a solution there, but it takes the community to help identify."

While Goodell said at March NFL meetings that any discussion about the Raiders in Vegas was "pure speculation." But it's evident other owners consider it well beyond that stage.

"You'll have certain individual owners with thoughts, but you won't see people clumping together to try to stop it - not with Las Vegas in the Raiders' case," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a May interview with the Vegas Review-Journal, which is owned by Adelson. "As far as I'm concerned, the Raiders are the one and only team to go (to Las Vegas). If it's going to work, I think it's the Raiders."

It is unknown whether the Oakland Athletics, who have been in talks about a new stadium construction site in downtown Oakland, would be impacted by the agreement.

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