Raiders fans, city officials stunned by team's unexpected announcement

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ByLarry Beil via KGO logo
Saturday, February 21, 2015
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Oakland city officials say they're still trying to work out a deal to keep the Oakland Raiders in the Bay Area so they don't move to L.A.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- In Oakland, Raiders fans are stunned by the unexpected announcement that the silver and black may move to Southern California-- again. While the new mayor and other officials are playing it cool, at least publicly.

Oakland city officials see this as another clear attempt for the team to gain leverage in their negotiations in the Bay Area.

"We have made significant progress over the last month in putting together a privately-financed deal," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.

Schaaf maintains she will not support the use of public money for any new coliseum deal for the Raiders, but with the team on yet another shopping trip to another city, Schaaf is being more specific.

"So I've said I will not use City of Oakland money to build stadiums. Now there is public money available for infrastructure improvements that could support a new stadium development and I've always said that I support that," Schaaf said.

Click here to check out the stadium plans

While concerned, Schaaf and other Oakland officials don't seem worried about the Raiders latest foray.

This time, it's not San Antonio, but Carson in Los Angeles County that has caught the eye of team owner Mark Davis. The allure is a new $1.7 billion stadium with Oakland's traditional nemesis -- the San Diego Chargers.

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum authority's new executive director, Scott McKibben said, "If I were fans, I don't think I'd be overly concerned."

McKibben says there's more than one definition of public money.

There are things like game day services, there is land. There are ways in which you can financially aid the deal without actually putting cash or public taxpayer dollars into the deal," McKibben said.

"We have the land, the property, and the investment, but I still believe that it will take a regional effort to build a class one facility," Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo said.

In their joint announcement, both the Chargers and Raiders said they remain committed to finding stadium solutions in their current home cities through 2015.

Could three NFL teams move to L.A.?

ABC7 News sports director Larry Beil says the Rams are also hoping to move back to Los Angeles from St. Louis. So could L.A. wind up with three NFL teams?

It's possible. And based on what we learned on Friday, it was the aggressiveness of Rams owner Stan Kroenke to move from St. Louis to L.A. on a site he owns in Inglewood that really spurred the Raiders and Chargers to join forces.

But here's what we did not see -- we did not see Raiders owner Mark Davis wearing a hard hat, putting a shovel in the ground, which is good news if you're a fan who wants the team to stay in Oakland.

And a Chargers spokesman said they invited the Raiders to join them on this Carson plan only a few weeks ago.

Before a shovel goes into the ground, Carson officials have to do an environmental impact report, get a vote on a ballot proposal and figure out how to finance a $1.7 billion stadium.

Earlier this week, new Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he asked Davis about the stadium situation during his job interview. Del Rio said he was working hard to keep the team in Oakland.

The NFL now has four stadium proposals in L.A. and three teams that might move there. After a 20-year wait, it seems like the NFL will be back in L.A. relatively soon, but we still don't know who will be moving or when.