No teams + No developer = No deal

BANG reports tonight that Floyd Kephart, who has been leading the effort to keep the struggling Coliseum City project alive, will not meet this weekend’s deadline to deliver a commitment from one of the Coliseum’s teams, namely the Oakland Raiders. Kephart described the situation in a manner we should all be familiar with.

It’s a complicated land situation; it’s a complicated team situation; and it’s a complicated Oakland situation. There is nothing simple here.

Kephart also revealed that he wasn’t ready to name a developer for the project. Whether that means the developer is under wraps or simply doesn’t exist is up to interpretation. Chances are that any developer’s commitment is contingent upon at least one team anchoring the project, which obviously hasn’t happened yet.

The 90-day deadline set in October was already going to be extraordinarily difficult pull off, so at least Kephart deserves credit for coming through on some of the other deliverables, such as necessary reports and studies (which to my knowledge haven’t been made public). The big stuff, however, is what counts. In the end Kephart won’t get credit for merely trying and he knows that. We’re still 31 days from the final deadline, and it’s worth asking whether or not Oakland should continue this process by extending the ENA another 30, 60, or 90 days. It’s unlikely that any potential partner (teams or developers) will suddenly commit just because the calendar flipped a couple pages. The fundamentals are still shaky at best.

The big takeaway is the Kephart revised the plan down to the 200 acres including the Coliseum and other pieces of public and private land immediately surrounding the complex. That makes for a much more feasible project in terms of acquiring and packaging the land, limiting infrastructure costs, and working out the regulatory aspects. The Coliseum City EIR is written so that the entire 800-acre plan area is the full scope, with the “Reduced Alternative” lowering densities within the full project area, not a smaller plan as a 200-acre project would require. It’s unclear if the final draft will include a 200-acre alternative, but it would seem that if Kephart’s plan moves forward such a major refocus would have to occur.

Lew Wolff has consistently said he’s not interested in being part of the project. He’d rather promote his own vision with no third parties (or perhaps his own) attached. If Coliseum City goes away and Wolff’s plan gets traction, the shoe would be on the other foot as the City, JPA, and Wolff would have to figure out how to accommodate the Raiders, as opposed to a Raiders-focused plan trying to accommodate the A’s.

Meanwhile, murmurs have been getting louder that the NFL will punt on LA for 2015. Hope remains in St. Louis for an 11th hour plan to build a new stadium for the Rams, which might give NFL the chance to extend its wait-and-see posture an additional year. The Chargers are staying in San Diego through at least next year. That leaves Oakland.

The Raiders will have to start negotiating a new lease with the JPA in the new year. Mark Davis prefers a single year or at worst a year-to-year arrangement for maximum flexibility. Davis pushed for the 1-year lease because he thought it would further the process at Coliseum City, which hasn’t happened save for the EIR. The JPA and City want a multiyear deal, which I wouldn’t expect Davis to sign. I’ve heard some strange rumors about backup venues Davis is calling about, which frankly is his right. The Raiders face severe limitations on where they can go, or rather, where they are welcome. We’ve already heard about the LA Coliseum and Rose Bowl slamming the door on the Raiders. There are also issues with Bay Area venues:

  • Levi’s Stadium has been ruled out by Davis. Even if he was interested the 49ers would require a multiyear commitment to pay for finishing construction on the second home team locker room.
  • California Memorial Stadium has a contractual ban on NFL games. Any deal to host the Raiders would run into an immediate legal injunction.
  • AT&T Park could host games, but is small and not ideal from a league perspective.
  • Stanford wants no part of the Raiders.
  • The ‘Stick is being dismantled per a development agreement with Lennar.

Even if the league owners got past Jerry Jones’ and Bob McNair’s objections, they wouldn’t approve a short-term stay for the Raiders in San Antonio. They want long-term stability and certainty. That’s also the problem in LA. Dodger Stadium could provide a short-term home, but the NFL and AEG have to work out a very complex deal for whatever team(s) commits. AEG asked for its own 6-month negotiating extension for Farmers Field. Given the complexity of arranging a temporary venue that it doesn’t control along with planning for the new stadium, getting it all done in 6 months is a tall order. That said, the NFL has assigned Eric Grubman to work on LA among other options, so it’s not like the league isn’t controlling what it can. The NFL may punt on LA for now, and punting is something Raiders fans are all too familiar with this year.

As for the A’s – they’re in a good spot. They have a lease that provides security. They’re working on a CC alternative that should be ready to go if Oakland drops CC. They can wait out the Raiders’ and Oakland’s indecisiveness, at least for a while.


68 thoughts on “No teams + No developer = No deal

  1. This doesn’t surprise me a bit. I think all along the Raiders move in 2015, or at the last second will deal with a year-t-year lease with the JPA.

  2. Uptown, coliseum north, fremont, victory court, coliseum… Maybe Jean Quan can fix this all with a press conference before she is shown the door.

    Queue indignant and uniformed outrage…

  3. Nice move, pretty standard to release bad news on a Friday evening, particularly what should prove to be a slow week next week with many people gone.

  4. RM,
    Per the asshole Kawakami, Davis has not ruled out Levi’s Stadium as an alternative IF a deal is imminent in Oakland. But yes, he has ruled it out as a long term home/option. My bet is the Raiders will be at the Coli for 2015 on a 1 year lease. The JPA has absolutely no leverage whatsoever to force a multi-year lease from the Raiders.

    As for Wolff / A’s, again, to think all will magically work out at the Coli if the Raiders leave is pure insanity. As I’ve said before, if it doesn’t work out for Davis it won’t work out for Wolff.

    I know, I know: 81 home games per year! Ballpark “only” costs $600 million compared to $1 billion! Anyone want to buy a big red bridge I’m selling in SF?….

  5. There are 2 things I am certain of, both teams will play next year at the coliseum. Davis will sign a 1 year extension after the ENA expires with no developer. Somehow, it will be Lews fault though. Then hopefully the A’s will put forth their plan. Davis will then sulk in the corner, while taking more trips to San Antonio. I actually believe for the first time, Davis will have a decision to make next year. The raiders are pretty screwed. No money, no one in la wants you, and they don’t want to sell part of the team. Davis may be desperate enough to try for san antonio. I probably would be.

  6. An 80% correct assessment which is a great job in todays reporting world. Complications in LA as well as Oakland? Shocking! Hope all Warrior, Raider and A’s fans have a great holiday.

  7. If the Raiders leave, we can count on Lew Wolff getting blamed, yes. “Why won’t the A’s build at Howard Terminal with their own money? It’s a PERFECT waterfront site!”…Yep, the Raiders are staring at the long-term conclusion of San Antonio not being viable, LA doesn’t want them (and Davis would have to sell the team before it could go there) and Oakland will never be able to provide a new stadium.

  8. Either these MLB and NFL commissioners are incompetent or their job is evidently more difficult than it appears (there’s no question about Selig – clearly incompentent) Now the NFL appears to be stalling teams attempting moving to Los Angeles and wants to build a bland two team facility and lease it out to 2 teams? That could prevent the Rams from moving to SoCal – their owner wants total control of the franchise – including owning the stadium.

    Also the San Diego owner, one would believe, would have second thoughts about moving there. San Diego appears to be much more of an NFL city than LA is (considering the attendance figures of the Chargers and what the Rams and Raiders drew when they were located in SoCal)

  9. The NFL has just slammed the door on LA relocation for 2015.

  10. Just as I thought….the NFL just announced that no NFL team will be in LA for 2015. And one year from now… will make the same statement for 2016….an empty LA market is a nice “threat” to have for the league so cities can subsidize Billionaires and their new stadiums. The formula has worked for 20 years…why change it now?

    By the way….there is no way and I mean NO WAY in Hell that Jerry Jones( Cowboys) and Bob McNair(Texans) will allow another team to move into the growing San Antonio market. Both of those teams consider that area their market.

    • And the Chargers (and Raiders in some of Al’s crazier moments) consider LA to be their market. Big whoop. Whatever happens, somebody’s going to be entrenching on someboys’s supposed market, and if a team can do it without using G4 funds, there’s nothing the NFL or a pissed-off team can do to stop them.

  11. What is the source that says San Antonio is not viable?
    Because Jerry Jones says so? Raiders are smart to look into Texas. That’s where the money is at.

    • There’s WAY more money in the Bay than San Antonio. Are you serious?!
      OT RM: Met Lew Wolff at Xmas in the Park, Downtown SJ. Pretty cool!

  12. LA hinges on Rams short term. Either STL is ready to pay the blackmail. or LA hasn’t take taken the 24/7 media driven bait.
    Good news for Oakland and San Diego.

  13. the Raiders and the Athletics can play happily at the Oakland Coliseum in till one is ready to build a ballpark and there is plenty of room on the Coliseum land to build one Whatever itis a ballpark or a football stadium is nonsense is getting really really old go Giants go Raiders go warriors I

  14. sure there is space to build two venues, the question has always been is there enough money and or land for development to help pay for a 500 million dollar mlb park and billion dollar nfl stadium.

  15. I believe the most likely existing team to move to LA is actually the Chargers. Why?
    The NFL is actually in a strong position when it comes to the Rams and Raiders. With the Rams they could force Stan Kroenke to sell the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, if he wants to move to LA, and the Raiders need help with the Stadium financing. That said, I think Expansion is what the NFL really wants. Why? Think of the value of a NEW NFL LA Franchise (especially if there is a Stadium Agreement). Look @ the Clippers and Dodgers and how much they sold for. Are they different sports, with Regional Sports Contracts? Yes, but the NFL is bigger then the NBA and MLB. I think the story to watch is Davis and the Coliseum Contract. If the JPA/ City of Oakland believe Davis is bluffing (about moving and (or) Contract length), and he cannot get to LA, or will not move to San Antonio, or Santa Clara, they might be in position, to force him into a Long-Term Contract @ The Coliseum (A’s or no A’s). If not, it will be a one year Contract for Next Year.

  16. All the “options” the Raiders have in the Bay Area are actually inferior to the Coliseum as a location for a sports venue.

    Memorial Stadium = No parking, inferior public transportation, fewer consession stands and bathrooms, lack of luxury suites as well as lack of club areas.

    Standford Stadium = Same as Memorial stadium with the added problem off accessibility for current fanbase.

    AT&T Park = Horrible venue for football with inferior transportation options to the Coliseum complex.

    Levi Stadium = Inferior public transportation to Coliseum Complex, inferior parking options, harder to get in and out, hotter, no cover from the elements, red seats, inconvemient to fan base.

    Candlestick Park? I won’t even dignify that with a comment.

    Why leave the current Coliseum for inferior options for your fan base? I can see possibly using Memorial Stadium for a few years if construction at the Coliseum Complex dictates it, but the other “options” really are not options at all.

    The Coliseum Complex is the best place for the Raiders and A’s. Anyone without an anti-Oakland bias knows this. The money changers don’t want to invest in Oakland because of their rich people biases and not because Oakland is not the best, most central and convenient area, for new sports venues in the Bay Area.

  17. Judging from the Floyd Kephart comments, its not looking like CC is going to happen for the Raiders, furthermore with him reducing the scope of the project to 200 acres it’s looking more, and more like Wolff may get a real opportunity to pitch his vision. I sure hope Wolff is serious about his ideas.

  18. I was hoping the Raiders could get something done in Oakland, that would nudge the A’s (MLB), toward San Jose, that way both trams could remain in the Bay Area, but it’s looking less and less, like that will happen.

  19. We have two teams who claim to want new shiny stadiums but neither is willing to sign on to anything in Oakland. What a silly soap opera.

    The ideal situation would be to have the Raiders at the Coliseum with a new state-of-the-art stadium which could also be used for a soccer franchise, day on the green type concerts, and for the opening ceremonies for a possible Bay Area Olympics. The A’s and their 81 home dates would be a perfect fit for the now revitalized Jack London Square as well as for the economic well being of Old Oakland, Uptown, and the rest of Downtown.

    The problem is the provincial, biased, anti-Oakland attitudes by monied interests here in the Bay Area. An example of the biased attitudes and provincial thinking is the fact that San Francisco centric people would rather waste 350 million dollars for a pop up Olympic Stadium on the Peninsula instead of working with Oakland as a partner in this endeavor and perhaps put that money towards a permanent stadium at the Coliseum Complex in Oakland.

    The anti-Oakland dismissive attitudes are so great that they would rather build a stadium on their side of the Bay and then tear it down, than to even consider that Oakland exists on a BART line just across the Bay.

    • Poor poor victim Oakland.

    • We’ve been over this. Oakland will NEVER get a soccer team. There is literally zero reason for you to even bring it up.

      • Another MSL team in the Bay Area to compete with Earthquakes? That will happen right after Santa Claus moves his workshop to Sunnyvale. Just what Lew Wolff wants after spending $100 million in private money on a new Earthquakes stadium – competition 25 miles away.

  20. PJK. Yes, some of these elitist attitudes of investors and lenders here in the Bay Area are rather sad. I was under the impression that we were one big happy Bay Area region. Evidently not.

    • You certainly don’t live by that belief, since you have publicly stated that you would no longer be a fan of the A’s if they ever do move to San Jose.

  21. Clearly we are not one big happy cooperative region. Would you still be a fan of the Oakland Earthquakes or the Oakland Sharks?

    Why would Lew Wolff claim territorial rights to Oakland when he clearly isn’t interested in the Oakland market? Why does Wolff criticize the Giants when he would do the same thing to Oakland while keeping out professional soccer?

    The bottom line is that Oakland is the best location for a sports complex but the anti-Oakland biases hold back investment therefore making things much more difficult.

  22. I have been one who has been consistent on LA not getting a team anytime soon and the Raiders being stuck at the Coli for years to come.

    Now it is official, thanks to Roger Goodell.

    LA has a huge issue in that no owner has site control. Only Stan Kroenke does and he has to give Missouri a chance to “drop their pants” to keep the team…..Therefore the Rams control LA.

    San Diego, will fight tooth and nail to keep LA open unless it is them moving there. Hence if anything does occur in LA it will be with the Rams/Chargers sharing.

    Mark Davis is now stuck and he now knows it full well. He should have shared Levi’s with the 49ers when he had the chance and went in 50/50 with them.

    Some reports say he is OK being the 2nd team in LA? Really? He can still be the 2nd team at Levi’s next season and actually have a nice place to play in without losing his fan base.

    Now he is dreaming of a Oakland stadium when he is not willing to raise any money for it.

    This means the A’s are stuck at the Coli as well cause of Mark Davis’ ineptitude.

    The only way out is the 9th circuit coming out with a ruling favoring San Jose (any year now), otherwise the A’s will be at the Coli until the end of their 10 year lease.

    Imagine 2023 season and we still have an NFL/MLB team sharing?

    I can imagine LA not having a team for another 10 seasons. The NFL is the same place they were 10 years ago with LA…..a pipe dream with too many moving parts to make happen.

    • @ Sid

      2023? Damn, unfortunately as crazy as that sounds, it could happen. Lets all hope not.

    • From the Raiders perspective, 2023 at the Coliseum might be the best option. Unless someone builds a stadium for them, what other choice do they have?

      The question is, if the Raiders push for a long term stay at the Coliseum and the city gives in, does that finally push MLB into granting the A’s access to San Jose?

      Considering that MLB has sat on it’s hands for 6 years with this, anything is possible at this point.

    • @Sid: the Attorney representing SJ has maintained that SJ will take the San Jose vs MLB all the way to the SC in necessary, there is no reason to believe that won’t occur. The case will not stop at the 9th circuit court (unless the SC decides not to hear the case)

      Recall that the SCOTUS is completely independent and not bounded by lower court rulings or opinions. For example – in the 2010 American Needle vs NFL case – the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judged in favor of the NFL – the SC overturned the 7th Court’s ruling by a 9-0 margin.

      MLB executives may be aware of a possible SCOTUS judgement against MLB and appear to siding more with San Jose lately. Last year, Selig informed Oakland officials that the A’s would play at ATT park if a lease at the Coliseum could’t be worked out. Then Selig also threatened that the A’s could play anywhere they wanted to (including San Jose) if Oakland didn’t agree to the lease (The giants owners definitely likely weren’t too pleased by either of those MLB threats)

  23. So much for this season being Oakland’s “last chance” to keep the Raiders. Looks like Oakland will get another “last chance” and probably more after that. And as the years add up, the conclusion remains the same: Development of privately built $1 billion football stadium in Oakland, to be used 10 days a year and 25 miles from another brand new NFL stadium, is just not viable.

  24. Levi’s Stadium would be a horrible option for the Oakland Raiders and their fans.

    We all know about the access problems and the horrible heat not to mention the fact the Forty Niners decorated the place in their own red and gold image.

    These teams are all still at the Coliseum after complaining for so long because the place really isn’t as bad as they all make it out to be and is far better than any other current options.

    Wolff just sits there and waits to “be kicked out of Oakland” while Davis refuses to committ to a stadium he says he wants in Oakland.

    It’s all good. I’d much rather have all these teams in Oakland then having them in San Jose, Santa Clara or San Francisco.

    The Warriors really bring nothing to the table for Oakland because of their refusal to identify with the city and their total disrespect of Oakland after using the city for 44 years, but they do still owe the city 62 million for the renovation of Oracle Arena back in 1997. This gives Oakland a certain amazing of leverage and they should use it.

    I predict the disrespectful Warriors will shun Oakland as the place for a victory parade should they win the NBA championship this year. They will be prancing down Market Street in Frisco should they win this year. This will be the ultimate act of contempt and disrespect for the city of Oakland from these disloyal billionaires.

    Oakland should really make a fuss out of this relocation and demand the 62 million dollars now, or send the Warriors back to the Cowpalace unless the NBA is open to a new NBA franchise for Oakland. Oakland has been used for 44 years by these San Francisco-centric billionaires and now is the time to show a little fortitude and self-respect. Oakland has nothing to lose by treating the “Golden State” Warriors the way they’ve treated the city for all of these decades.

    • The Warriors bring nothing to Oakland? Based on the team name?

      What about the money people spend in Oakland? And why are you botching about it if they don’t?

      • What money is spent in Oakland because of the Warriors? How does a team which refuses to carry the Oakland name on the road and who has completely cleansed Oracle Arena of the name “Oakland” benefit the city?

      • All those people watching games all the time, you know the folks you have trumpeted for tears… They get in for free and the beer is all complimentary. Absolutely zero money is spent in Oakland on the day of Warriors games…

    • re: Levi’s Stadium would be a horrible option for the Oakland Raiders and their fans. …Maybe so, but if they want to stay near their current fan base, Levi’s is probably the only option they have. If there was a way to privately build a $1 billion NFL stadium in Oakland, that way would have been found after all these years of investigating. But there is no way. It’s either going to be Levi’s, LA or San Antonio. Sitting around waiting for $600 million+ to magically appear to close the gap has not gotten the Raiders anywhere, except to plan for more games on a baseball infield.

      re: I predict the disrespectful Warriors will shun Oakland as the place for a victory parade should they win the NBA championship this year. …I’ve been wondering about this, too. Do the Warriors hold the parade in the city they are definitely going to abandon or look to the future and hold the parade down Market Street in Frisco? The 49ers play 45 miles from downtown Frisco and are already adamant that if they win another Super Bowl (hopefully, that will never happen), they will hold the parade in Frisco and snub Santa Clara. The Warriors play far closer to Frisco than the 49ers do. (Still waiting for the TV networks to show a shot of nearby San Jose during 49er games. I’ll be waiting a long time since the plan is to pretend the 49ers are still in Frisco.)

      • I agree. It’s great for the Faithful but not the Nation. Nothing is that clear cut. Changes can be made. With all the brain power in the Valley I think they can come up with something. Maybe even erect a statue to Al on one side…and to make things fair…Eddie on the other.
        Make it a shrine to football by the Bay. We’re talking eight Super Bowl trophies. But hey… it’s all ego, right? That’s why Harbaugh’s leaving. It’d be cool if he set up shop down the hall…and make it nine trophies!

      • PJK,

        I hear you regarding the shots of San Francisco during games in Santa Clara.

        It’s interesting that you bring that up since something rahter interesting occurred during the CBS televised game in Oakland between the Bills and Raiders. CBS actually used some beautiful shots of Lake Merritt, Downtown Oakland and the Bay Bridge. This is the best Oakland coverage I’ve seen for an NFL game in Oakland.

        This should be the case for every NFL game. Why show San Francisco at all when the games are being played in Oakland? The funny part is that the San Francisco skyline was completely fogged in as CBS kept trying to still get peaks through the clouds. Their tenacity to show Frisco borders on hilarity. They did eventually sneak a peek at the Golden Gate through the clouds.

        I agree with you that the networks should show some San Jose shots on the broadcasts. I think Santa Clara should have insisted on a name change for the team.

      • @pjk The (NY) Giants had their Super Bowl parades in Manhattan. The Cowboys had their Super Bowl parades in downtown Dallas.

  25. Anybody else see the Marcus Thompson column in the Mercury News (and probably other BANG newspapers) where he recognizes the great fans the Raiders have but acknowledges a relocation might be necessary? “A small-pocket owner plus a local government that cant and won’t pitch in for a new stadium usually spells relocation for a team.”

    • …unless of course it’s the A’s. You know; it’s all going to work out beautifully and perfectly for Lew Wolff at the Coli once the Raiders leave. 81 GAMES PER YEAR! 😉

      • I don’t see any way for the A’s to succeed in a new ballpark in Oakland if the Raiders are still on the property. And even turning over the property to Wolff to develop and “inviting” the Raiders to leave may not be enough. Continued revenue-sharing may be needed. If MLB wants to consign the A’s to a territory where it will be very challenging to pay for a new ballpark, then MLB ought to be ready to pony up big concessions, such as permanent revenue-sharing.

      • Tony, c’mon dude… This is pretty disingenuous… having more games to finance a stadium that costs about half to build AND to make money from ancillary development does not make it less likely to pencil out… It makes it more likely to do so.

      • Not disengenious at all my long time friend. Having more games has no direct impact on stadium financing; merely provides greater sales tax returns for said municipality. Ballpark costing “half” of what a football stadium will cost? $600 million + in a corporate poor region is STILL a lot o money. This isn’t $100 million Avaya Stadium we’re talking about here. Making money from ancillary development? Well, if there’s really money making potential in East Oakland the Raiders and (insert development team name here) would have had a deal a long time ago…yet here we are.

        Still feel Jeffrey we’ll one day have a cold one at a beautiful San Jose ballpark, but its gonna be awhile…

  26. All Mark has to do is build out a third locker room and he has his stadium. I’m with Goodell on this one.

    • Davis is acting like a kid who wants a new Mercedes from his blue collar worker dad. The money just isn’t there and isn’t going to be there. The Raiders are constrained by the limitations of the city and state they play in: Neither the city nor the state can provide any funds, and the market itself cannot produce a $1 billion stadium built with no public funding.

      • Floyd, if you’re reading this, perhaps it’s time to convince Mark to build on the current footprint around the existing Mt. Davis (ala Rhamesis’ original idea for a Coli reconstruction). Probably looking at $600-700 million vs $1 billion+. Make it happen Floyd! GO RAIDERS!

      • BTW RM,
        Just checked out pics of the Citrus Bowl renovations you talked about a while back…awesome! No reason Davis, Kephart can’t do this for current Coliseum.

  27. As davis stated ” their are too many moving parts.” This is true im beginning to think that oakland officials are not going to have enough time to properly submit a legitimate proposal for the raiders. Alot of sources are writing that a lease extinction is expected. But it hasnt happened. The move to san antonio believe or not has a lot legs. Henry cisneros stated “we have been in negotiations on a dailey basis on buisness points.” To mark davis. What a lot of people dont know is that bob mcnair is open for a raiders location to texas its been openly reported here in texas. Another deal is that cisneros has also proposed a new stadium deal to davis already. But its being kept under wraps. Tim brown of all people is correct. San antonio has the better deal on the table. Its looking more and more likely that oakland officials will be asking for more time. And thats something davis would not be pleased about. Interesting to see how this will play out california is broke. And oakland simply does not have the funds to get the job done

    • The last line says it all. Oakland does not have the money. Another year of stalling won’t change that. Maybe San Antonio can get it done.

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