OAKLAND (CBS SF) – There will be no 11th-hour rescue to keep the Raiders in Oakland by former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward Debartolo Jr.
Rumors had been circulating about just such a possibility ever since reports of a meeting between a representative of DeBartolo’s real estate development company and Oakland Councilman Noel Gallo surfaced earlier this month.
Gallo confirmed the meeting to KPIX 5, but was mum on any other details.
On Sunday, DeBartolo told KPIX 5 the meeting was only done as a favor for former 49ers great Ronnie Lott, who is heading up a group trying to keep the Raiders in Oakland.
“Ronnie Lott asked our development company to do him a favor and take a look at things in Oakland,” said DeBartolo, who remains close friends with Lott and several of his former players.
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DeBartolo said it will be tough for Oakland or the state of California to come up with the kind of financial package similar to the one Nevada has already on the table.
Nevada officials have approved raising $750 million in hotel taxes to build the $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas.
As part of the deal, Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has also promised to spend $650 million toward the stadium.
DeBartolo said Lott is very committed to doing all he can to keep the Raiders in Oakland.
“I know that Ronnie really cares,” the former 49ers owner and NFL Hall of Famer said. “He’s got a great team together that’s really trying to get a (new) stadium and keep the Raiders in Oakland…We were happy to take a look at things (in Oakland) but I think they (Lott team) got their work cut out for them. ”
DeBartolo said he doesn’t envy the decisions that Raiders owner Mark Davis has to make.
“I don’t envy him because it’s going to be tough,” he said.
As for any possible return to the NFL in the future, DeBartolo said it was unlikely.
“As far as football goes,” he said. “I’m happy doing exactly what I’m doing – spending time with my family and traveling a little bit.”