SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With the fate of the Oakland Raiders hanging in the balance, Alameda County officials voted 3-1 with one abstention to approve a deal for a new $1.3 billion stadium that supporters hope will keep the NFL team in town.
The lone no vote was cast by Supervisor Keith Carson, who asked many questions about the project and said he’s concerned that the county is in precarious financial shape because of the election of Donald Trump, who could significantly cut federal funds to the county when he takes office as president.READ MORE: Protesters, Counterprotesters Face Off at San Francisco 'Walk for Life' Rally
Supervisor Wilma Chan abstained.
Even Ronnie Lott, the man who put together the proposal with partner Rodney Peete and partners from Fortress Investments, admitted to feeling overwhelmed.
“There have been many mornings that I’ve cried, trying to figure out how do we get this done,” said Lott.
Former Raider Marcus Allen is also part of the investors group who want to fund a new stadium.
“I know we talk about money. We talk about finances, we talk about public money, we talk about private money. We talk about people that believe in something,” said Allen.
But it was Lott’s own integrity that got the votes, according to the President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Scott Haggerty.
“What it comes down for me is trust and my mother would trust Ronnie Lott,” said Haggerty. “I trust this man and he’s somebody I want to do business with, and I hope he’s somebody (team owner) Mark Davis wants to do business with.”
For Oakland Raiders fans, Tuesday’s vote means there is hope that the team will stay.
“If you are an Oakland Raider fan, your heart is in your throat right now,” said team supporter and Oakland resident Ray Perez.
“We still have to convince the NFL. We still have to convince Mark Davis,” said Lott. “We got a long way to go, but but today is a great day and a great moment for Raider Nation.”
Now, the spotlight turns to the Oakland City Council which will vote on the plan — which includes $350 million in public money by way of land and future revenue — on Tuesday night.
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One Oakland City Councilman, Noel Gallo, spoke at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting. He’s more than optimistic.
“Certainly I can say that we’ll have a unanimous support at the city council to support this proposal,” said Gallo.READ MORE: Classic Film Buffs Set to Assemble Sunday at SF Castro Theatre, Urge Movie Programming Continues
Earlier this year, team owner Mark Davis committed to moving the Raiders to Las Vegas, where a $1.9 billion stadium project has been approved. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf vowed to continue working on a counter-proposal for the Raiders to stay at the Oakland Coliseum.
“If we don’t do this, we have no shot. It’s game over,” said Jim Zelinski, co-founder of Save Oakland Sports, a nonprofit organization seeking to keep the Raiders and other professional sports teams in the city.
A move to Nevada is not certain, although a vote by the NFL on whether to allow the move is possible as soon as January. Nevada will raise $750 million from a hotel tax to fund the stadium with billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson contributing $650 million and the Raiders and NFL kicking in $500 million.
The Raiders must get approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners to move.
The Raiders also have the option of moving to the Los Angeles area, where they could share a facility with the recently relocated Rams.
In Oakland, approval from the city and county Tuesday would allow negotiations to begin with Lotts’ investors group.
“We know there is a lot of work left to do, but we also believe strongly in our city and that the Raiders belong here in the original home of the Raider Nation,” Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid said in a statement issued last week, announcing the plan.
The parties have identified $1.25 billion in potential financing for a project that may cost upward of $1.3 billion for a 55,000-seat stadium project that could include mixed-use retail in the future.
Lott’s group would contribute $400 million, with the NFL and the Raiders contributing $500 million.
The city of Oakland would contribute $200 million for infrastructure such as storm drains and roadway parking. The money would be generated from bonds paid back from revenue created from the stadium and its surrounding commercial development.
The city and county would also contribute at least 100 acres of land, valued at $150 million. One of the issues to be determined, assistant city administrator Claudia Cappio said, is whether the land would be sold or leased.
Alameda County and Oakland also need to determine how to retire nearly $100 million in debt incurred for remodeling the current stadium to woo the team back from Los Angeles in 1995.
Fan support for a new stadium appeared to be high. The Oakland Coliseum, which also hosts the MLB’s Oakland Athletics, is aging and lacks the amenities found in newer stadiums.
Shawn Wilson, chief of staff to Haggerty, said in an email Monday that the office has received nearly 340 calls and emails in support and one in opposition.MORE NEWS: Female Employee Beaten During Friday-Evening Robbery of Santa Rosa Pharmacy
Investors would start working with Davis and the NFL once the boards sign off Tuesday, said Sam Singer, a spokesman for investors.