Raider Boosters Hopeful In Face Of Vegas Stadium Bill Passing

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — The quick passage on Friday of the hotel tax bill that will help fund a Vegas football stadium was a blow to those hoping the Oakland Raiders will stay in the East Bay.

“We’re very upset, very frustrated,” said Save Oakland Sports President Chris Dobbins.

Oakland Councilman Noel Gallo tried to remain optimistic.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” said Gallo

The Nevada Assembly voted to approve legislation that includes $750 million in public funding for the construction of a professional football stadium in Las Vegas.


The new stadium could become the new home of the Oakland Raiders and the UNLV Running Rebels football team.

Raiders owner Mark Davis, who has been working with a group on Las Vegas on the stadium proposal, thanked the Nevada lawmakers in a prepared statement Friday.

“I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day,” he said. “All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation.”

Oakland city leaders and fans hope NFL owners will block the move to Las Vegas, but the city will have to present a solid stadium financing plan to convince the NFL to do so.

And that’s where Ronnie Lott’s group of investors comes in. They’ve been negotiating with the city to redevelop the Coliseum site and build a new stadium.

Oakland has also confirmed former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo is interested in the project, whose involvement KPIX 5 broke the news on Thursday. His real estate company’s vice president, Holly Collins-Garcia, flew in Thursday and met with Oakland’s lead negotiator Claudia Cappio.

Cappio told KPIX 5 the first meeting went well and both sides will meet again, which good news for loyal fans.

“The DeBartolo family, if they merge with Lott as a complimentary energy, it can only help the situation,” said Forever Oakland founder Griz Jones.

DeBartolo and Lott have a relationship that dates back to the ’80s. It’s likely they would work together to redevelop the large site with hotels, housing, retail and a stadium.

“The DeBartolos wanting to join the effort, I think it’s exciting. The experience they both have the experience — not just on the playing field, but also in the development effort,” said Gallo.

Cappio said she’s meeting with the Ronnie Lott group a couple of times a week and negotiations are going very well.

She says the only problem is Raiders owner Davis is not at the table. If they have a good plan, the hope is the NFL owners will stop the move and force Davis to consider the plan.

“We’re trying to keep the Raiders in Oakland,” said Dobbins. “If a former 49er wants to do it, if a former 49ers player and former 49ers owner want to do it, welcome to Oakland.”

The NFL’s other team owners still have to approve a Raiders move to Vegas. No fewer than 24 of the league’s 32 owners would have to sign off on the move.

The owners are scheduled to meet next weekend in Houston, where the potential move is likely to come up.

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