Ronnie Lott’s group has finally made its move to keep the Raiders in Oakland.
Fortress Investment Group has sent the NFL and the Raiders a formal proposal to build a new stadium for the team, according to a Sports Business Daily report. An NFL spokesman confirmed the report to Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Jon Mark Saraceno, noting that the proposal included details for a 55,000-seat stadium, worth an estimated $1.3 billion, in Alameda County.
The Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted in mid-December to support a plan to enter into an exclusive negotiating deal with Lott’s investment team to build a new stadium for the Raiders.
Fortress’s initial plan was accepted by the Oakland council with a 7-0 vote, while the county board voted 3-1. The league, however, rejected the proposal and asked the group to resubmit it with more information.
The resubmitted Fortress plan did not make much changes. In it, Fortress Group’s investors would shell out $400 million for the stadium, while NFL and the Raiders would provide $500 million. The remaining $200 million would come from the city’s coffers.
Oakland Raiders filed the paperwork in January to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Fortress’s submission came just ahead of the Annual League Meeting, scheduled from March 26 to 29 in Phoenix, where NFL’s 32 owners will meet to vote on the Raiders’ application to relocate. The Raiders need to receive approval from at least 24 of the 32 teams before they pack their bags and head to the desert.
Attempts to bring the Raiders to the desert has caught the eye of many backers, especially casino magnates like Sheldon Adelson who had pledged $650 million to build a $1.9 billion domed stadium. The billionaire, however, has since pulled out of the project but Raiders reportedly have “two banks ready to loan money” to fill the hole that Adelson left.