Based on what has happened recently between the Raiders and city of Oakland, this report by SF Gate has to be considered pretty surprising to those of us who have been following the often-contentious stadium crisis in Northern California.
According to the reputable news outlet, the Raiders are closing in on finalizing an agreement on a new stadium in the city of Oakland.
A new Raiders stadium offer worked out by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s development people calls for giving free land to the team and for city and Alameda County taxpayers to pay off $120 million they still owe for the 1990s overhaul of the Coliseum – which would be demolished.
The one minor hiccup here is that the city still has to wait for word from Raiders owner Mark Davis, who has been scoping out relocation options for the franchise.
The Raiders lease with O.co comes to an end following the 2014 season. And they could conceivably up and move in time for Week 1 of the 2015 campaign.
One other potentially huge stumbling block here is that the Oakland Athletics just recently signed a 10-year lease extension with the stadium. Something would have to be worked out on that end in order for the Raiders project to move forward.
Despite this renewed optimism that a stadium could be built in Oakland sometime soon, city officials are not so certain. Supervisor Nate Miley “expressed skepticism” that a stadium deal materalizing, while Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid had concerns over the city being forced to pay off the $120 million debt the Raiders still owe. With that said, some of this could be built-in skepticism on their part after so many failed negotiations in the past.
At the very least, progress has been made. That’s something we haven’t seen between the Raiders and the city of Oakland since they moved back from Southern California decades ago.