In Roger Goodell, Raiders fans in Oakland may have found an unlikely ally. Obviously a very influential one as well. The NFL commissioner is growing tired of the shell game being played in Oakland and recently wielded his power to help get the ball rolling with a new investment and development group.
Goodell has been pushing to keep the Raiders in Oakland since sending Mark Davis home from his attempts to get a new stadium in LA. And with Davis's attempts to move the team to Las Vegas, it only strengthens Goodell's resolve that Oakland remain the home of the Raiders. Putting a team in Vegas is something Goodell would prefer to not have to consider.
So, while those machinations take their course, in walks a development group led by former Raiders Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete looking to take a crack at getting a stadium built in Oakland. This after several previous attempts by other development groups were not considered viable by the Raiders and the NFL.
Roger Goodell likes this idea. And what Goodell wants, Goodell usually gets.
So, he made a call to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf who had told the San Francisco Chronicle previously that she would only speak to a development group if they were brought to her by the Raiders. Goodell asked, and so she met with the group.
Davis has talked of the Raider kicking in $500 million for a Vegas move. That's $300 million from the Raiders and $200 million from the NFL via a G4 loan. That number jumps to $600 million if the team builds in Oakland, per the agreement when Davis was denied LA.
The overall cost for an Oakland stadium is also lower than Vegas -- $1B vs $1.5B. Even still, with no public funding -- as Vegas is proposing -- that leaves the Raiders $400 million short of the funding needed for a stadium in Oakland. The investment group has said they can fill that gap, but would ask to own a minority share of the team. This is predominantly African American led group, which would be a first in the NFL. Goodell likes that as well.
The Chronicle sited a source that said the Raiders are willing to work with the group and the Raiders stadium planner, Larry McNeil, has met with them recently. Though the Vegas attempts continue to move forward due to skepticism among the organization that anything can get done with the A's still squatting on the coliseum land in a current 10-year lease.
It always comes back to the A's who hamstrung the Raiders when they signed their new lease extension which carries a two-year opt out clause. Up to this point the stadium plans haven't reached the point where that is the only issue standing in the way. This new group's inclusion doesn't solve that quandary, but with Goodell on board, they will have their best chance of clearing some hurdles which were previously uncleared.