Raiders don mouse ears as Schaaf woos NFL

As Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf pitched her city to the National Football League in New York Tuesday, the Raiders announced they and the San Diego Chargers have combined to name Walt Disney Company chairman and chief executive officer Robert Iger to head their proposed stadium project in Carson, Calif.

Iger said he will have the option, subject to the NFL’s approval, to acquire a minority, non-controlling equity ownership interest in either the Raiders or the Chargers.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said teams that want to apply to relocate to a new city may do so between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 of next year.

Iger said in a statement:

“Should the (NFL) owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans. … LA football fans will enjoy unprecedented access to games during the season in a state of the art stadium designed to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and enjoyable experience possible.”

Iger said three-fourths of the owners of the NFL’s 32 teams must approve any team moves.

Schaaf said her city’s presentation to the NFL about its plan for building a new football stadium that would keep the Raiders football team in Oakland resulted in “a positive discussion.”

Schaaf said the city’s presentation at a meeting at NFL headquarters in New York was “well-received by the Raiders and the other NFL owners.” Schaaf said:

“They were engaged and asked great questions.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis is actively exploring the possibility of moving the team to Carson, a Los Angeles suburb where the team might share a new stadium with the San Diego Chargers, who also are considering moving.

In addition, the St. Louis Rams are considering moving to a new stadium in Inglewood, also in the Los Angeles area.

Two weeks ago, the NFL held public hearings in Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis to give fans in those cities a chance to try to convince the league to keep their teams in their respective cities.

The cities of St. Louis and San Diego joined Oakland in giving presentations to a joint meeting of the league’s Los Angeles, Stadium and Finance committees.

Schaaf said:

“Today’s meeting with the NFL reinforced that Oakland is correct in continuing to work directly with the team and the NFL to keep the Raiders in Oakland where they belong.”

Schaaf said the city of Oakland is working to buy Alameda County’s stake in the land and existing facilities at the O.co Coliseum where the Raiders currently play:

“We are also beginning to analyze ways that we might monetize future revenue that could be generated from a stadium development.”

Schaaf added:

“We remain committed to responsibly keeping as many of our sports teams as possible. My focus continues to be on forging a partnership that supports a team-centered effort to build a new stadium for the Raiders in Oakland that will be successful for the fans and the team and responsible for the city and its taxpayers.”