On Thursday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan shocked a few people, including the Oakland City Council when she announced on the air of a local radio station that the prince of Dubai had partnered with one of the investment groups involved in the Coliseum City project.
"[The current investment group] has partnered literally with the prince of Dubai, who is next in line to lead Dubai. And they have capital," Quan told 95.7 The Game.
Here's the thing, though -- it's not true.
A spokesperson for Quan told the Mercury News on Saturday plainly "the crown prince of Dubai is not involved in the Coliseum project."
The project still has the two major names behind it -- Haya Holdings, and Colony Capital. Haya in particular has connections to major officials in Dubai. Up to this point, that seemed like it could have this project well on its way to happening, though there have been projections that still have the stadium some $500 million short of necessary funding.
The main problem now becomes how inclined everyone is to believe any of the claims Quan has made or will make in future. If she would conjure up a prince, what else is she fibbing about? For instance, she said the investors and real estate companies "are in negotiations with the Raiders about their stadium and to fill out the rest of their economic development plan. I expect by the end of the summer we'll have some results."
She made that statement in the same breath as her claim the prince of Dubai was involved. So, are these companies REALLY in direct negotiations with the Raiders? Is the projection of having results by the end of the summer ACTUALLY a legitimate time frame? Or are her revelations of this oasis really just one big mirage?
City Councilman, Larry Reid, who is part of the Oakland Coliseum oversight boards, had been taken aback by Quan's announcement because she hadn't said anything about this prince prior to her radio interview. So, naturally the whole idea drew quite a bit of skepticism. Reid also spoke on the matter with the Mercury News.
"You just don't throw the crown prince's name out there and say he's in a deal when he's not," said Reid. "I think it makes it harder for the people who are shopping the deal out there and trying to save these sports franchises."
While the Coliseum City may still be a fairy tale ending, Mayor Quan is tall tales aren't helping any. In fact, it could very well be hurting its chances.