Officials approve new agreement for Raiders, Athletic's stadiums

Fans watch from a view at the Coliseum in Oakland, during the first quarter of an NFL football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Alameda County supervisors hope new negotiations between the county, the city of Oakland and a development firm yield a plan to keep all three Oakland sports teams at the existing Oakland Coliseum site without spending taxpayer money on stadium construction, the supervisors said at their meeting today.

The Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with New City Development LLC to come up with a development plan for the Coliseum area that includes a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders as well as a potential new venue for the Oakland A's.

New City is an investor group headed by Floyd Kephart, chairman of the board of Renaissance Companies, a San Diego firm that advises hedge funds, private equity groups and financial institutions.

The same agreement was passed by the Oakland City Council last week, opening six months of negotiations with an option to extend them for another six months.

The "Coliseum City" plan includes not only the stadiums, but a comprehensive development of the 120-acre site that includes market rate and affordable housing, office and retail use, hotels and open space.

The agreement includes requirements for community benefits, including environmental mitigation, requirements for local hiring, and construction of affordable housing.

But the supervisors were adamant that any plan be privately funded and not require taxpayer dollars.

"I want to make sure Floyd Kephart understands we're looking for a private deal with private finance," Supervisor Nate Miley said at the meeting, adding, "If the deal is structured around (personal seat licenses), if it's not privately financed, there's going to be a lot of pushback with this."

Personal seat licenses are a method for developers to recoup debt incurred in the construction of a new stadium. County officials said today that the city and county are still owed $100 million for stadium renovations done in the 90s.

For that reason, Miley said he is open to renovating the existing stadium rather than building a new one.

While not mentioned in the agreement, the supervisors also expressed an interest in keeping the Golden State Warriors basketball team playing at the adjacent Oracle Arena in Oakland, despite the team's movement in designing a new proposed stadium for San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

"I have not given up on the Warriors. I want to keep the Warriors," Supervisor Scott Haggerty said today.

While the door on the Warriors might be closed, Haggerty said he has found the door to the Oakland mayor's office open since the recent election of Mayor Libby Schaaf.

Haggerty said the supervisors had been trying to work with former Mayor Jean Quan on the Coliseum City plan, but found her office unresponsive, preferring to keep progress on the deal to themselves.

Schaaf has been "more open to working with the county," Haggerty said. She proposed adding Alameda County to the negotiations at last week's special City Council meeting.

Today's supervisors meeting attracted a stream of Raiders and A's fans who expressed their support for the plan. A few speakers asked the county to make sure the construction includes a significant portion of local hires.

"I'm going to push for Alameda County jobs," Haggerty said, "and out of those Alameda County jobs, Oakland can have the majority."

The supervisors, despite their concerns about financing and hiring, were overall enthusiastic that the Coliseum City development could be transformative for the impoverished East Oakland neighborhood where the Coliseum is currently, as well as the entire city and region.

"The only way we can help Alameda County heal is if we help Oakland heal," Haggerty said. "I think this is the first step in transforming this city into a world-class city."
Related Topics:
sportsOakland RaidersOakland AthleticsNational Footbal Leaguenflconstructionbusinessalameda countyOaklandOakland Coliseum
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