New stadium deal looks bleak for silver and black

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

San Diego businessman Floyd W. Kephart submitted a 20-page plan to Oakland and Alameda County officials last week for a development project that would provide a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders by 2019.

The $900 million, 55,000-seat stadium also includes development plans for an area adjacent to the new stadium called Coliseum City that will consist of 4,000 housing units, 400 hotel units and retail space, according to the plan originally obtained by the Bay Area News Group. Kephart reported that the total price for the entire project would be just more than $4 billion. At the time this publication went to print, the Raiders had not commented on the proposal.

The deal would require that current Raiders team owner Mark Davis sell 20 percent of the franchise to Kephart’s business, New City Development, LLC for $200 million according to the plan. This is the first time in the league’s history a new stadium proposal included a provision to allow the development company the option to purchase a portion of the team.

“The Raiders, along with the NFL with the G4 money, which is a $200 million loan to the Raiders, would be able to come up with $500 million. We’ve put $500 million on the table and we believe that we could build the stadium in Oakland that would be suitable for the Raiders and our fans for about $900 million. We would need the land and the infrastructure to be taken care of somehow,” Davis told ESPN’s John Clayton in an interview in June.

The stadium itself would be completely funded by the Raiders and the NFL, which leaves a $400 million gap in funding the Raiders would be required to cover. The NFL has already committed up to $200 million in a statement made by Commissioner Roger Goodell at the owner’s meetings last month.

According to Kephart’s statements, the Raiders would borrow $300 million from creditors, contribute $100 million of their own money and use half of the $200 million they would receive from the sale of a percentage of the team to Kephart’s company as well as sales of personal seating licenses for season-ticket holders to fill the funding gap for the stadium and parking garages on their end.

New City Development, LLC would purchase just over 90 acres of land at the current site from the city and county for $116 million, which they would then put back into the new stadium. The city and the county would also have to cover more than $100 million that was approved in 1995 for renovations to Coliseum when the team returned from Los Angeles.

“What the city and county have done is they’ve given an exclusive negotiating agreement to a company run by a guy by the name of Floyd Kephart. They are attempting to come up with that $400 million gap through some type of a real estate development deal,” Davis said.

Oakland and Alameda County would also have to put $80 million toward parking garages and Kephart’s company would put up the rest of the $107 million needed for those structures. The deal will also leave the Oakland A’s space for a new stadium which would be reserved until Jan. 1, 2019.

The Golden State Warriors will be allowed to extend their lease at Oracle Arena, however, the 2015 NBA champions are looking to secure a deal in the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco. A’s team officials have said that while they are interested in a new venue, they would not be interested in building one near a new football stadium.

“This feels like the 90s all over again,” Raiders season ticket holder John Garcia said. “It just feels like it ain’t gonna happen. Now they got LA and San Antonio to compete with too. Man, when the money’s funny you gotta do what’s best I guess, but I can’t be an LA Raiders fan.”

Kephart’s proposal said the football stadium would be completed by 2019, the hotel by 2020, with the housing, retail and office set to be completed by 2022. In June, Raiders team officials requested until the end of the year to find other options for a new stadium but Goodell has yet to respond.