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Another funding plan for Raiders stadium

Posted November 2, 2015

Neil deMause - Field of Schemes


There’s about to be a new Oakland Raiders stadium plan in town: Tipping Point Sports, the consultant hired by the city of Oakland after the last plan crashed and burned, is going to present its proposal to the Oakland city council this week, and the Bay Area News Group has some hints of what it will include:

The proposal from Oakland’s newly hired stadium consultant Mitchell Ziets of Tipping Point Sports won’t include public money to help build the estimated $900 million facility, Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio said Friday.

The plan is expected to include several funding mechanisms that have already been bandied about including a special tax district for infrastructure improvements, the development potential of surrounding land on the 120-acre Coliseum site as well as the city’s capacity to issue tax-exempt bonds, Cappio said.

Couple of things here: Providing tax kickbacks for infrastructure and handing over development rights and tax-exempt bonding capacity is all totally “public money,” and if it’s going to Raiders owner Mark Davis, it would totally be helping build the stadium, even if Oakland didn’t actually write “4 stadium” in the memo field of the check. And for that matter, unless Oakland agrees to give Davis a bunch of public cash, he’s going to reject the plan, because he’s already said he has no intention of using his own profits to do it.

The problem here is the same as it’s been all along: Davis wants a new stadium, but only if somebody else pays for most of it. What might make the most sense for Oakland would be to wait out the current L.A. relocation scramble, where the Raiders seem to be bringing up the rear, and hope that Davis’s demands come down once he has fewer other options. Maybe that’s what they’re doing here, actually — or maybe just sending the NFL a required “Hey, we have a plan, even if Davis doesn’t like it” message in hopes it’ll be enough to forestall a relocation. Or maybe it’s just political butt-covering in case the Raiders leave. Or it can be all three!

As for Tipping Point Sports, it’s Mitchell Ziets, a sports industry consultant best known previously around these parts for providing San Diego with a stadium financing report that amounted to adding up all the public shares for other NFL stadiums and taking the average. So keep your expectations moderate, is all I’m saying.