Recently Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf appeared on the local Bay Area Fox affiliate. The interview, posted Wednesday, was conducted the day after Sheldon Adelson had backed out of the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium proposal, so the number one topic was that of Schaaf and the City of Oakland’s response to the news.
“I remain focused. I neither dance nor pout,” Schaaf said of Adelson’s departure from the Vegas deal. “Vegas is not over. But believe me Oakland is not over either.”
Adelson was to kick in as much as $650 million to help fund the Las Vegas stadium. Now Davis and the Raiders must try to make up that funding from another source.
The largest chunk of money for the Vegas stadium will be coming from public funds with a record $750 million approved via an increase in hotel taxes.
Public funding has long been the sticking point in Oakland, where the city is unwilling to offer up money to build the stadium, agreeing only to as much as $200 million for infrastructure improvements surrounding a stadium, which is to be paid through the sale of the coliseum land.
“I am willing to lose this team if public money is the issue,” said Schaaf, reiterating Oakland’s long held stance on it.
Davis said last year that if Las Vegas could approve the funding, he would be committed to doing his part to bring the team. Since then, he has not spoken directly with the city of Oakland, which has been directing its efforts to convincing the NFL that Oakland has a viable plan.
“Mark has been very focused on Las Vegas, so he has been very purposely not been in communication directly with Oakland this year. That is out of his respect and commitment to Nevada. At the same time he did designate an agent to be in conversation with Oakland, but we’ve been very focused more directly with the NFL.”
You can see the full video of the Schaaf interview here.
As of yet, there is no word on whether Oakland has done enough to convince Roger Goodell or the league owners they can put forth a viable plan. They continue to work with Ronnie Lott and Fortress Investments to try and get a deal done. But until if/when Davis and the Raiders step back from their efforts to move to Las Vegas, not much can move forward on the Oakland front.
The next step in this will occur at the owners meetings in Arizona on March 26 when the owners are expected make their relocation vote, barring a delay in the process, which is also entirely possible.