“Since I took office I have been nothing but clear about how I believe Oakland can responsibly keep its sports teams without publicly subsidizing stadium construction. My position is unchanged. The San Francisco Chronicle’s suggestion that I would be willing to put public money at risk is simply not true.
I have repeatedly said that I believe we can create new homes for Oakland’s sports teams with private money. I’ve also been clear that the taxpayer money I would support using is money for infrastructure improvements that the taxpayers would own in perpetuity.
I am focused on responsibly keeping our teams in Oakland which is why I am also open to exploring the use of dollars that could be created by a new project -- money that the City would not otherwise have. I think that it would be appropriate to pledge money that is created by the Raiders for the Raiders so long as it can be done without ever putting the taxpayers at risk.
But that’s it. I will not recreate the mistakes of the past in Oakland.
This is the Bay Area and we have other options. Our land is very valuable. The land that is home to our Coliseum Complex is right on a Bart station, an Amtrak station, and is within a mile of the airport which now connects directly to the Coliseum BART station, in addition to being on the 880 corridor.
I expressed this when I met with the NFL this week in New York City. I made clear what I believe Oakland can do to support a project and still be responsible stewards of the public dollar.
To that end, the City of Oakland is beginning to analyze the feasibility of using public tools to monetize future revenue from a stadium project to help support it. Again, this would be revenue and taxes generated by the new stadium which would only exist if a new facility is constructed.
Specifically, we are examining Lease Revenue Bonds and Tax Increment Financing as elements of a financing plan to be presented to the Raiders. The details regarding lease revenue bonds and the use of tax increment financing have not been established, but a fundamental requirement of the possible lease revenue bond approach is that it would not pose any risk to the City’s General Fund. We would want to do this by creating a binding agreement with the Raiders to make payments adequate to service the bond and additionally ensure that those payments are secured by a private entity.
We are considering using tax increment revenues to finance the stadium that would be limited to the tax revenues generated by the stadium. Other tax increment revenues, such as those generated by the ancillary development at the Coliseum site, would be used to fund the infrastructure required for the development of the entire Coliseum site.
These are complex negotiations. Oakland has three professional sports teams on one site – two of which share a facility. We have land currently owned by two public entities -- the City of Oakland and Alameda County, and we have a facility for which we are still in debt.
To responsibly keep as many our sports teams as possible, we have to resolve these complicated issues. This is exactly what we have been doing by working to settle the existing debt, simplify the ownership of the site by creating a concrete plan to buy out the County’s stake as they have requested, and working directly with the team and the NFL.
We are committed to being as transparent as possible, but if we are to be successful these negotiations cannot play out in the press and what is reported to the public must be accurate.
This is how Oakland will be able to move forward in a way that does what is right for the fans and the team and is responsible for the City and its taxpayers.”
Office Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf