Programming note: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf will join SportsTalk Live Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area for an exclusive 30-minute sit-down interview to discuss the state of Oakland sports.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Raiders owner Mark Davis has long stated that he wants his team to stay in Oakland. He’s also publicly travelling a “parallel path,” working on a joint stadium proposal to be shared with the San Diego Chargers in Carson.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf is also working all the angles to keep the Raiders in her city.
While Floyd Kephart recently submitted an early version of a proposal for Coliseum City, a massive $4.2-billion project on the Coliseum site that will include a privately-financed stadium for the Raiders.
Mayor Schaaf has taken a look at that, and will examine future submissions from Kephart, including a full proposal later in August.
Schaaf said on Tuesday that she’s also speaking directly with the Raiders about options outside Kephart’s plan despite an exclusive negotiating agreement with the San Diego-based developer.
“When I took office in January, we started talking (directly) to the teams,” Schaaf said Tuesday on CSN Bay Area’s SportsTalk Live: But Seriously. “When we did the agreement with Kephart, it specifically allowed us to engage in direct negotiations with teams, and we have been doing that. The more good ideas we have, the better. At the end of the day, we want a deal that teams buy into because we want them to stay.”
The Raiders are in greater flux than other Oakland teams. The Golden State Warriors seem committed to moving to San Francisco. MLB’s Athletics seem content to be the last man standing to before building a ballpark of its own.
The Raiders could bolt for the Los Angeles market for the 2016 season. While Schaaf is aware of the possible time crunch the Raiders’ Carson project places on stadium talks, she refuses to let that impact her work in the East Bay.
“I can’t be distracted by what else is going on,” Schaaf said. “I’ve been very clear about what my goals are for Oakland. We want them to stay.
“We know the league wants to see a bit more progress in Oakland. Our situation is more complex than what is going on in Carson. We have the City and Alameda County as co-owners of the land. We have a baseball team and a football team using the same site, which makes our situation more complex. There is debt on a facility teams want to tear down. That’s why this deal is taking longer in the City of Oakland, but it’s a positive that both parties want to get a deal done here.”
The Raiders have long pushed for a new Oakland stadium. O.co Coliseum is an outdated facility, though there is an estimated $100 million in debt remaining on revenue that brought the Raiders back from L.A. in the mid 1990s.
“I share the frustration of the Raiders and the NFL,” Schaaf said. “They’ve been trying for the longest amount of time to get a new stadium worked out in Oakland. They’ve been very clear that Oakland is their first choice. Carson is Plan B.
“…We’ve seen privately financed stadiums work, particularly here in the Bay Area. We are having some really productive talks with the Raiders and the A’s.”