Vegas luring Raiders ‘frustrates’ Oakland official
Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid said Thursday he’s “very frustrated” that Raiders owner Mark Davis now says he wants to move the football team to Las Vegas and is ready to spend $500 million to make it happen.
Reid, who chairs the Oakland-Alameda County Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the Oakland Coliseum’s operations, said:
“Davis keeps saying he wants to stay in Oakland but now the indications are that he doesn’t want to stay in Oakland.”
Davis spoke today at a meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, an 11-member panel formed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Reid said he understands Davis said he’s willing to contribute up to $500 million toward the cost of building a new stadium in Las Vegas.
Noting that the Raiders are known as the silver-and-black because of their team colors and Nevada is known as the silver state, Reid said he was upset that Davis reportedly talked about “turning the silver state into the silver-and-black state.”
Reid said he thinks Davis is being “disingenuous” in telling loyal Raiders fans he wants to stay in Oakland and asks them to buy tickets for games this season but will not engage in serious talks about building a new stadium that would keep the team in Oakland for the long term.
The Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors both voted last week to approve a lease extension agreement that will keep the Raiders at the Coliseum for at least one more year and possibly up to three years.
A tentative lease extension was announced by the Raiders and city and county officials back on Feb. 11. But Reid said the Raiders refused to resume negotiations for building a new football stadium until the agreement received final approval:
“They chose not to sit down until the extension was finalized and a lot of time was wasted in which we could have been in discussions. … Nothing can happen unless you’re at the bargaining table.”
Oakland Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio is scheduled to meet next week with real estate executive Larry MacNeil, who has been hired by the Raiders, to talk about building a new stadium in Oakland. Reid said he hopes those talks can still be productive.
Davis said in February the Raiders hired MacNeil, who spent 10 years as the San Francisco 49ers’ chief financial officer and was in charge of developing that team’s Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, to represent their interests in negotiations with the city and the county.
Said the Raiders in a statement:
“Would like to thank the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and (former Las Vegas) Mayor (Oscar) Goodman for their time today as we continue to explore options for a permanent stadium solution. We appreciate the support and passion of Raiders fans everywhere.”