In response to the recent reports that panned the proposal made to the Raiders for their new coliseum, Floyd Kephart took to the radio to defend his proposal. He at points in the interview said the plan was "doable" and the reports to the contrary were "inaccurate", but mostly he defended the reasoning behind why his proposal was somewhat unorthodox and not ideal.
Among the less than ideal details according to the report was Kephart asking Mark Davis to sell 20% of the team to Kephart's company, New City Development LLC for $200 million. There's also the matter of the Raiders not owning the land on which the coliseum will sit, and in instead leasing it from the city.
With the limited details that came out, it appeared as if the money for the stadium is coming almost wholly from the Raiders, which is quite unusual. Kephart says that isn't entirely true.
"If there's debt, there has to be sources of repayment," Kephart told Fred Roggin on LA station 980 The Beast. "And if there's equity then there has to be a return to that equity. And in the case of the debt here which we still maintain is going to be needed to some extent, the repayment of that debt is coming almost exclusively from the tax proceeds of the development and it was presented in the overall proposal. So, that was a misread and a misreport."
But most of the contorting Kephart has had to do with regard to his proposal comes from the fact that the city and county are not providing any funding for the stadium. They have been saddled with the debt from the Coliseum renovation back in 1996 which still has some $100 million left to be paid off. They will continue to pay that, but will not take on any new financial burden.
That lack of funds from the city and county makes things incredibly difficult on Kephart to put together a workable proposal. From his perspective, the city and county are saying one thing and doing another.
"Change is hard for everybody and this is a big change in the way historically these deals have been approached," said Kephart. "The city and county have made it really clear that they want all of this to be 100% privately financed as it relates to any sports team, and that makes it complicated because the average fan doesn't understand that's why the city and county's not writing a check. So that they have something to vote against the next time they see taxpayer money going up."
"The city and the county are not putting in a penny and they keep saying they want to save the team, we're making every effort to stay here, but the city and county's not making an investment... They've rolled out the red carpet, but it's about 100 yards short of the entrance to the field. I think that's the biggest concern because that does not show community support."
And so, we're pretty much back where we've been from the start - with a lack of funds to fill the some $400 million gap between what the Raiders and the NFL will provide ($500 million) and the cost of the proposed stadium ($900 million).
So, yeah, Kephart's hands are a bit tied. It's said to be the reason Mark Davis was in Los Angeles Tuesday to meet with city officials, just days after Kephart made his Coliseum City proposal.
That being said, Kephart would like the city of Oakland to understand just how valuable this development would be to the people in the area.
"The people who get the most from an investment in Coliseum City is the city of Oakland," said Kephart. "The next guy who gets the most out of that is the Oakland Raiders. The next guy is us and the last is the county of Alameda. And so out of the four participants here, almost regardless of how you structure the deals, the city of Oakland gets almost twice the return on any investment dollar than any of the three participants do."
"We're proposing a huge change of what has taken place in the past. We're proposing that the property here is not being used by the sports teams be sold to us for the purpose of having a long term economic development in an area that has not been served by the city of Oakland in a long time.
He's right. Though it may not change anything.