Oakland council, Alameda supervisors OK Raiders stadium deal

- A proposal to build a new football stadium complex for the Oakland Raiders cleared two hurdles Tuesday after the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved resolutions to enter an exclusive negotiating agreement with former NFL star Ronnie Lott's investment team.

The plan is to build a $1.3 billion coliseum complex with a stadium seating to accommodate about 55,000 people on the current 130-acre site.

The plan is an effort to keep the Oakland Raiders from relocating to Nevada.

The majority of the land is owned jointly by the city and county.

Raiders fans wearing black and white showed up at both meetings to show their support.

By 10:30 p.m., after more than one hour of public comment and discussion, the Oakland City Council voted 7-0, with 1 abstention from council member Abel Guillen, who said he, like other council members, had received calls from constituents who are concerned about the city's financial health and feel housing, education, crime prevention and other issues should take precedence over a stadium.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the same proposal earlier Tuesday morning, by a 3-1 vote.Supervisor Keith Carson voted no and Supervisor Wilma Chan abstained.

Sources tell KTVU that the private investors met with NFL Vice-President Eric Grubman and Raiders officials in a closed meeting Monday in San Francisco. Representatives from the City of Oakland and Alameda County were also present at the briefing.

The timing and message sent by the city and county votes were critical, because the NFL owners had a scheduled meeting Wednesday in Dallas and could vote as early as January on whether to let the team move to Las Vegas.

Grubman commented to USA Today Tuesday that he feels the Ronnie Lott investment team's proposal is a "carbon copy" of past proposals by Oakland that have failed and that "problems are likely to ensue."

Ronnie Lott responded, saying he had not seen Grubman's comment, but bristled at the idea that Grubman would question Lott's reputation or criticize the plan without knowing all the details.

Lott says he's confident they have a good proposal moving into the 12-month negotiating period.

"It's not just about us. It's about everybody doing something bigger than themselves," Lott said. 

 "We are in this for the long haul. It's about tthe community, it's about the people, it's about the jobs.," said former NFL player Rodney Peete, who is part of Lott's investment group Oakland City Pro Football  Group, LLC.

The group is partnering with Fortress Investments by pledging at least $400 million in private funding to construct the stadium with space saved for a possible privately funded A's ballpark, should the Athletics decide to stay on the land.

"We do need to get the Raiders on board. We want to hear the Raiders input on what their ideas. We also want to hear..we have room for the A's. We'd love to find a way to have the A's stay so there's still a lot of work to be done," said Drew McKnight of Fortress Investments.

"I feel really confident about where we're at, but the NFL, yes, that's our ticket. That's our Superbowl and that Superbowl is going to happen hopefully in January," Lott said, referring to the anticipated NFL owners meeting that could see the owners voting on whether to allow Mark Davis to move the Raiders to Las Vegas.

Nevada has approved a new stadium deal with $750 million in public hotel tax funds and $650 million in funding from casino magnate Sheldon Addelson.

Oakland city officials say their deal would limit public funds to $200 million in infrastructure costs and a conveyance of the property valued at $150 million for a long-term lease or sale.

"The city has pledged $200 million. $100 million will come from new stadium revenue that would be structured as part of the deal. The other $100 milllion would be coming from an enhanced infrastructure financing district which the city is allowed to do via state law which would focus revenues from the site and the redevelopment from the site to pay for infrastructure and imiprovements," said Claudia Cappio, the Oakland Assistant City Administrator.

"We're not putting at risk any of our existing funds or any potential funds. If there are any cost overrides or any unexpected expenses or unexpected shortfalls, the city is not at risk and that's the big difference compared to the deal 20 plus years ago," said  Dan Kalb the Oakland City Council District 1 member.

That deal to renovate the coliseum two decades ago is still costing the city and county $20 million per year through 2025.

Following the vote, Ronnie Lott addressed the people in the council chambers and said he understands the concerns by citizens who worry about Oakland's financial stability and providing support and services to those most vulnerable or undergoing economic hardship.

Oakland needs a win, though, he said noting the recent tragedies of the "Ghost Ship" warehouse fire, as well as crime prevention efforts and economic hardships.

Lott and his team, though, said the coliseum project could bring jobs and economic stimulus to the region and Lott said "we're going to fight" to keep the team in Oakland.

There was hugging and clapping when Alameda supervisors approved the plan 3-1-1. The deal needs approval from both city and county leaders.  Now, the city council is set to vote on the stadium "term sheet" at its meeting later tonight. KTVU's Cristina Rendon reports councilmember Noel Gallo said the city council will unanimously approve the plan tonight. 

The deal, backed by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, has the framework to build a new Raiders stadium in Oakland. This proposal was put forth by Ronnie Lott's Fortress Investment Group. Supporters say this will keep the team from leaving for Las Vegas.

The proposed stadium would seat about 55,000 people and take up to three years to build. There would also be retail, a hotel and possible housing developments as part of the deal.  

Marcus Allen attended the meeting to say why he wants the Raiders to stay in Oakland.  

According to a report from NFL.com, investors met with city and county leaders Monday to discuss some of the details. 

Lott's investment group has proposed paying all the construction costs for a stadium at the current coliseum site. The city would invest about $200 million in infrastructure bonds.

The head of one Oakland Raiders fan club is optimistic about this deal.

Raiders’ fans are hoping this is the deal that will stop the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas, where a $1.9 billion dollar stadium project has been approved. 

A move would need league approval.

NFL owners are expected to vote early next year on the Raiders relocation bid. 

KTVU reporters Cristina Rendon and Jana Katsuyama contributed to this report.

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