Photo: Chris Yunker/Flickr
Raiders fans who are local and loyal to Oakland — there may still be hope for a stadium! Former Raiders player and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ronnie Lott is gathering a team of private investors who are determined to build a new Oakland stadium for the Raiders.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has been in talks with the NFL about moving the Raiders to Las Vegas because of his frustration at the declining quality of the current Oakland Alameda Coliseum and the lack of funds to replace it. Nevada officials are working on a funding strategy for a $1.4-billion domed stadium, and USA Today quotes Davis as saying, “[i]f they can get done what they’re talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas.”
In the meantime, Lott is rallying a hefty crew of financial backers. The dream team includes former Raider Rodney Peete and Atlanta developer Egbert Perry, CEO of real estate firm Integral.
“I think it would be great to have them involved, but I’ve got to be very respectful of what I’ve heard very clearly from the NFL — that this needs to be a team-centric development,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf explained to The Mercury News.
The Raiders’ possible move follows on the coattails of the relocation of another Oakland team: the Golden State Warriors will be moving to San Francisco from the Oakland Arena in 2019 once the Chase Center is built. We reported on the full details of the future move for the Warriors a few weeks ago.
The tug-of-war between Las Vegas and Oakland will ultimately be decided by the NFL, who may say no to Nevada even if the state’s officials confirm funding. Among other things, the NFL will consider the city’s potential to attract a fanbase — possibly a problem given that Las Vegas has one of the most transient populations of any American city.
Marc Ganis, a stadium consultant who helped the Raiders and Rams leave Los Angeles in 1995, told The Mercury News, “[f]rankly, the Bay Area is a much stronger market — it’s not even close. But if the political leadership in Oakland can’t come together, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”