Oakland-Alameda County Official Says Raiders Want Lease Extension To “2019, Maybe 2020”
Ah, it’s so hard to keep a secret, eh? The current Oakland-Alameda Countty Coliseum Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Scott McKibben first told one publication on Monday, September 26th, what I reported on September 6th: that the Raiders were seeking a lease extension to, as I was told “2019 and maybe 2020”.
The mainstream media elected to ignore the story because it came from me. But the fact is, several of my friends happen to be Oakland and Alameda County Officials. We seek each other out and about and talk – and so there you go. I have an advantage that the Las Vegas media types lack, and on top of that, my background is in urban planning and I worked for the City of Oakland.
So, here’s the truth: the Oakland Raiders are having a ton of problems in trying to build a new, state of the art stadium in Las Vegas. The first problem is the Raiders lack the money: the original plan was for Sheldon Adelson and Las Vegas Sands to pay for such things as highway upgrades and additions that would be called for by the Southeern Nevada Tourism and Investment Act – and cost overruns.
On September 8th 2016, Mr. Robert Goldstein, the Cheif Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands said to the SNTIC that they would pay for all cost overruns and operating losses. But when Sheldon Adelson departed from working with Raiders Owner Mark Davis and team President Marc Badain, in Februrary of this year, that monetary cushion was taken away.
The media, who doesn’t try to get how this works, mistakenly reported that, first, Goldman Sachs, and then Bank of America, could “replace” was the word used, a man in Sheldon Adelson worth north of $30 billion.
But then reality set in: Bank of America sports banker Elliot McCabbe came to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority to state that it would only loan $850 million, and not at all help cover cost overrums. Right now, and because of the laws in Clark County and in the SNTIA, the Raiders are already looking at a price tag of an additional $650 million, and that does not include the $370 million relocation fee – all in addition to the $1.9 billion estimated but not confirmed price tag.
That’s $2.550 billion – and we have to now consider President Trump’s comment that the private – public partnership for funding of federal highway improvements is off the table, and states and local governments would be expected to foot the bill.
That places more pressure on the Oakland Raiders, who, by SNTIA law, are already asked to pay for an “adequate” amount of the cost of what are called “off-site transportation infrastructure costs,” in addition to Clark County’s own parking rules, which call for 14,000 spaces, and at a total cost of $200 million, considering they have to purchase land to make the parking areas, and the land is at $2.9 million per acre, as of now.
All that, and the simple fact that the Oakland Raiders target of a 2020 opening was not based on the reality presented by the difficulty of building a stadium on that specific Russell Road site, but the fantasy of wanting to have a new stadium open for the NFL’s 100th Season, led the team to ask for a lease extension to 2019 or 2020 at the Oakland Coliseum.
But there’s a new wrinkle, even then: the Oakland A’s are leaving the Coliseum and thus, the NFL could have that land – all they have to do is ask the JPA. And who’s to say they’re not interested?