Friday, February 20, 2015

Coliseum JPA postpones vote on Raiders lease; Miley says some public money may be used for new stadium

COLISEUM AUTHORITY | The morning after the Oakland Raiders unveiled a surprise joint proposal with the San Diego Chargers to build a stadium in Southern California, the Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA) postponed a decision to approve a one-year lease extension for the team to play another season at O.co Coliseum.

No official reason was offered for the postponement, which was announced after the JPA officially named former Oakland Tribune publisher Scott McKibben as its new executive director. A vote by the JPA on the Raiders lease, however, could occur at a special meeting scheduled for early March, said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, a member of the stadium authority.

JPA Commissioner Chris Dobbins said the move should not be seen a response to a report Thursday evening in the Los Angeles Times revealing that the Raiders and Chargers had recently purchased land at a landfill in the city of Carson, near Los Angeles, for a new 68,000-seat stadium to be shared by the rival football teams.

“The city wants to get its ducks in a row. We don’t want something to happen like last summer with the A’s where the city and county looked like they were playing stupid,” said Dobbins, referring to negotiations last year in which the Oakland City Council balked at a deal that the county had agreed to with the A’s. Dobbins, like other JPA commissioners, did not know about the Raiders and Chargers’ stadium plans before last night.

Other members of the JPA, including Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, said they first heard of the stadium plan from news reports and that Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid was alerted by Raiders officials shortly before the LA Times article was posted online.

“It’s still posturing, but even so, the Raiders are still saying they want to stay here. It really puts it on us to make something happen. Historically, we haven’t gotten anything done,” said Dobbins.

JPA officials agree that time is running out on keeping the Raiders in Oakland, while giving hints to some of the terms potentially being negotiated with the city, county, and the Coliseum City development group, known as New City Development, led by San Diego businessman Floyd Kephart.

“The clock is ticking,” said Miley. “The deadline is approaching.”

In an interview following the JPA meeting, Miley placed the current odds of the Raiders building a stadium in Oakland at “fifty-fifty.” But, he added, the Raiders are growing more comfortable with New City Development. Oakland officials recently approved a ninety-day extension of its Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with New City. Miley added that he believes the county will eventually join the ENA. However, neither government body nor the Raiders have seen details on how New City plans to finance Coliseum City, he said.



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