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Mark Davis, Oakland JPA insist this time Raiders one-year extension is different

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday the Raiders extended their lease for third year in a row. It was again a one-year extension. There are options for additional years, but it still means the Raiders can opt out after 2016.

Most see this deal as nothing more than what had to happen after the Raiders were denied Los Angeles. And in that, the lease would be kicking the can down the road again, just as they had done with the last two one-year extensions.

Mark Davis along with the Joint Power Authority would set forth in Thursday's press conference to convince us this time is different. This time they are a united front. This time ‘time' what was needed.

"I'll term this as a win-win situation for the City of Oakland," said Mark Davis. "The mayor, when she presented in front of the National Football League, she said what she needed was time, that if they had more time they believe that they could get something done with the Raiders in Oakland and for the Raiders it gives us some certainty for this season as well as flexibility for the following two seasons."

So, Oakland gets more time and the Raiders can still move on at the end of next season. Or the one after. Or the one after that.

This, of course, still begs the question of how this time something will get done. There was seemingly no sense of urgency before when the Raiders were a few owner votes away from skipping town last month. This after several years trying to get a stadium deal done, which included the threat of the team moving.

Any and all skepticism is quite justifiable at this point. Even still, the JPA sounds like they genuinely believe there is a renewed sense of urgency this time around.

"I don't think this gives us a sense of relaxation," said President of the Alameda Board of Supervisors Scott Haggerty. "What we have before us is urgency to continue to move forward to get this done. And I don't think Mark in any way is going to accept anything less than moving full speed ahead to get a stadium done. Anything less than getting it done is going to be a failure. We have to move as quickly as possible still. I think finally we have the right players at the table and I think once we can get in a room . . . [we can] figure out how to keep the Raiders here."

One major new face in the negotiations is Larry MacNeil, a senior real estate executive, who will be joining the Oakland stadium development team. MacNeil spent 10 years as the Chief Financial Officer of the San Francisco 49ers and was in charge of the development of Levi's Stadium. He will represent our interests in negotiations with the County Board of Supervisors, the JPA, and the City of Oakland.

Prior to this, the negotiations weren't really going anywhere.

Immediately following the NFL turning away the Raiders from Los Angeles a month ago, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made it known she is looking forward to getting back to work with the Raiders to try and keep them in Oakland.

"We are pleased to have additional time to work with the Raiders and the NFL to build a new home for the team in Oakland," said Schaaf. "We recognize the Raiders have been understandably frustrated over the years so we're excited to have this chance to rededicate ourselves to getting a deal done that works for the team/NFL/our fans/our taxpayers. We remain confident that the Raiders can build a new stadium in Oakland without a direct public subsidy. We stand ready to work with the Raiders and the NFL to responsibly make that happen."

At that time the Raiders were still reeling from the sting of being booted from the LA market and weren't quite ready to get back to the negotiating table. A couple weeks later, Mark Davis was in Las Vegas looking at a property there, which was not a great sign as far as progress on the Oakland front.

Vegas seems like a stretch as far as a viable place for the team to relocate, but Davis must explore all options. Thursday was all about optimism for a deal getting done in Oakland, and therefore downplaying his visit to Vegas.

"I don't think I've ever once said that I wasn't interested in staying in Oakland and I'll continue to say that," said Davis. "But at the same time if people are going to call you and offer you things to look at, you have to look at them. You just have to do that as a business person and everything else, but my heart is here in Oakland. And if we can get something done, that's what I'm trying to do."

The visit always did rather remind me of when Mark visited the Concord Naval Weapons Station a couple years back. And not long after that visit, Davis said something very similar about it. He said he was asked to take a look at the site and he accepted, though the site never materialized as a serious location.

It's become abundantly clear throughout the years that the current stadium site is an always has been his priority. But as Davis said Thursday, he can't do this alone; "I put on the table what we can do and we want to stay. We need help."

The County is looking to pay off the existing $100 million still remaining from the Oakland Coliseum renovation, the NFL is putting up an additional $100 million on top of the $200 million G4 loan, the Raiders are putting up $300 million, and the City of Oakland has agreed to fund infrastructure costs which are expected to be just over $100 million.

That won't be enough. There is still a funding gap and details to be hashed out. They have more time. On top of the considerable time they had before this. Maybe they can make this ‘time' count.