A group of investors tied to former Raiders player Ronnie Lott have put in a bid to buy the Oakland Alemeda County Coliseum and the land upon which it sits, signalling a potential path to keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, The East Bay Times published details from a letter of intent to purchase the parcel of land. The bid is currently $167.3 million, or $250 per square foot.
“The group proposes purchasing the Coliseum land — which includes Oracle Arena and other nearby properties — for $167.3 million, which accounts for bond obligations owed and prepayment penalties. The plan includes upgrading and replacing the site’s sewer and septic systems, which infamously have backed up during games, spewing raw sewage into dugouts and team clubhouses.”
As The East Bay Times noted, one potential x-factor in the Lott bid is the Oakland A’s, who have recently mulled a potential waterfront ballpark near Jack London Square. It would seem that the Lott group would want the A’s to stay, but so far, neither side is commenting:
“Lott and A’s co-owner Lew Wolff have been in contact, according to Wolff. A representative for Lott previously said he would not comment during negotiations.”
Sources also told The East Bay Times that the city of Oakland “swiftly” rejected the initial bid. However, that a new group of investors are aggressively committed to purchasing both the land and the Oakland Coliseum itself is nevertheless an encouraging sign.
What’s also encouraging is that NFL VP Eric Grubman attended the Raiders game on Sunday in Oakland, where he was joined local business leaders, and by Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
That same day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pumped the breaks on a potential move to Las Vegas, saying that he thought there was still a solution in Oakland.
Meanwhile, last week a the South Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously to recommend a financing proposal for a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium in downtown Las Vegas for the Raiders.
In order for the move to actually happen, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis would need 23 other owners to approve it. That the Las Vegas stadium is backed by the billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson would certainly help Davis’ cause.
But with news of a possible solution to stay in Oakland, the tide may just be shifting — ever so slightly — away from Las Vegas.