There’s been no official word from the National Football League coming out of Wednesday’s update meeting with the city of Oakland and Alameda County leaders about a new Raiders stadium.
But in this case, the league’s non reaction speaks volumes.
After doing some poking around, I can safely say the meeting went horribly bad.
Bottom line, there is no present plan in place.
And with the Raiders pursuing a joint stadium plan with the San Diego Chargers in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson – pending the outcome of their pursuit of a new stadium in Oakland – it’s difficult to imagine an avenue emerging in which a stadium project is in place before the NFL decides between the Raiders’ and Chargers’ Carson proposal and the Inglewood stadium being pushed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
Wednesday’s meeting was attended by Oakland Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio, Alameda County Auditor-Controller Pat O’Connell, NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman, Raiders owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badain.
But if the NFL and Raiders were hoping to hear positive news or see any sign of progress from Bay Area leaders, they were seriously let down.
Especially considering the kind of dysfunction going on between the city of Oakland and the county of Alameda, which co-own the land on which a new Raiders stadium would be built as part of a sprawling development on the site their current home.
All of which was spelled out by the Bay Area News Group.
As BANG explained, Oakland leaders were prepared to deliver a letter to the Raiders Wednesday spelling out key terms for a stadium deal, but the letter was never delivered because their partners from the county wouldn’t sign it.
In fact, Alameda County now reveals it wants to bow out of the project entirely and sell its stake of the 120 acres to Oakland.
While openly admitting Oakland probably doesn’t have the money to buy it.
“Everyone acknowledges the city doesn’t have the money,” Supervisor Nate Miley said the BANG. “So we would work on a payment plan that would be ironclad.”
And that doesn’t even account for the nearly $100 million in bond debt Oakland and Alameda still owe for renovations to the O.Co Coliseum 20 years ago. Or who will be responsible for it, ultimately.
According to BANG, the city and county have a tentative offer from a company formed by San Diego businessman Floyd Kephart to buy nearly 90 acres of the Coliseum site for $116 million, but Kephart wanted most of that money reinvested into parking garages for the future housing, retail and office development rather than paying off the county’s debt.
Kephart, incidentally, was not at Wednesday’s meeting.
Needless to say, until the land issue gets solved, there is no moving forward.
And with everything moving backwards at the moment, it’s getting more and more difficult to imagine a stadium deal springing to life before the NFL decides who is relocating to Los Angeles and where they will play.