A spokesperson for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed to NBC Bay Area that they have “reached a framework” of a deal to keep the Raiders in the Bay Area with a group led by ex-NFL player Ronnie Lott.
“The mayor said this a.m. there is a framework that has been agreed upon and now in closed session today (county) and closed session on Nov. 29 (city council). Both bodies will review so we know if we can move forward,” Schaaf’s office told NBC Bay Area.
Neither the NFL nor the Raiders commented on the matter.
The group of investors featuring Lott had proposed buying the Coliseum land, which includes the Oracle Arena and other properties, for $167.3 million with the intention of keeping the team in Oakland.
While this appears to be reason for some optimism regarding the Raiders staying in Oakland, there are still hurdles to overcome.
“But there are two big hurdles,” Jim Zelinski, co-founder of Save Oakland Sports said. “First, you need the buy-in of the most important stakeholder, (owner) Mark Davis. And two, don’t forget there are some very powerful owners who have lined up behind the Las Vegas deal.
“We’re behind Mr. Lott, but I don’t know what the mayor means by a “framework.”
Jason Cole of B/R reported last week that the Oakland city council is hoping to vote a proposed land deal to build a new stadium. According to Cole, this land deal could possibly pave the way for a new stadium to be built on the Oakland Coliseum property and prevent the team from relocating to Las Vegas.
The committee is reportedly hoping to make a presentation at the next NFL owners meeting and stem the progress made by the team in Las Vegas.
Last week, Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported that the NFL office “desperately wants to do something to prevent what looks like a near-fait accompli—the Raiders moving to Vegas and the Chargers moving to be the second team in Los Angeles.
According to King, the NFL is concerned about the Raiders leaving northern California for a few reasons including: 1) The Raiders won’t come close to duplicating the fervor of Oakland in transient Vegas, 2) The NFL knows how valuable their market is and they want to keep a second team in the Bay Area.
King added that the NFL probably can’t keep the Raiders in their current market unless Mark Davis is willing to take on a partner, which he’s shown no signs of wanting to do.
While there has been a lot of progress made towards a stadium deal in Las Vegas, it’s by no means a done deal.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk previously reported that the NFL believes that casino owner Sheldon Adelson wants to acquire a path to a controlling interest in the Raiders as part of the agreement to relocate the team to Las Vegas.
Florio mentions that the fact that Adelson owns a casino creates a big issue that could make it more difficult for the Raiders to secure approval from NFL owners to relocate the team.
Adelson previously mentioned that he is prepared to walk away from the stadium deal to build a new facility for the Raiders in Las Vegas unless the terms of the improve.
“I negotiated to bring in the Oakland Raiders, an NFL football team from Oakland, because they don’t have a stadium there, that I would build a stadium and rent it out to the Oakland Raiders,” Adelson said on Wednesday, via Ari Rabinovitch of Reuters.
Adelson added that the Raiders are asking for too much right now and even though he helped gain approval for the project last week, it sounds like he’s prepared to move on.
“They want so much,” Adelson said. “So I told my people, ‘Tell them I could live with the deal, I could live without the deal. Here’s the way it’s gonna go down. If they don’t want it, bye-bye.”
Adelson has committed $650 million to the Las Vegas stadium project, but NFL bylaws prevent him from owning a piece of a franchise. Albert Breer previously mentioned that Adelson could still get revenue from non-NFL events, but there’s also question whether this would be a worthwhile investment for him.
The Raiders would need 24 votes to relocate the team to Las Vegas and Davis is expected to file for relocation in January.
We’ll have more regarding the Raiders and Las Vegas as the news is available.