The Raiders aren’t being as dismissive as they’ve previously been about the proposal to build a stadium in Oakland.
Indeed, the Raiders met Monday with the group behind the effort to keep the team in town by building a stadium with $500 million from the team and the league. Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott serves as the primary name and face for Fortress Investment Group; the money primarily comes from Wesley Edens, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
So why would the team take a meeting over a project owner Mark Davis already has pooh-poohed? Either Davis hopes to not be accused of failing to do his due diligence on the idea or, as suggested here on Monday, he’s looking for leverage due to lingering struggles to finalize a deal to move the team to Las Vegas. Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson continues to drive a hard bargain; a viable plan for the Raiders to remain in Oakland could soften Adelson’s stance.
The County of Alameda and City of Oakland are scheduled to apply expedited approval to the project on Tuesday, one day before NFL owners meet in Dallas. At that point, it’s believed the league office will unfurl an effort to sell Oakland as a viable market (and Las Vegas as a not-so-viable market) in the hopes of keeping the team where it currently is.