Are the Raiders actively in talks with a new developer partner for there long time public plans to either rebuild a new stadium ground up in Oakland or in another geographic location such as Los Angeles? The last developer de jour, Floyd Kephart, is now apparently no longer in the mix and both sides of the once possible partnership have parted ways. The word is there is a new face in town quite possibly seeking some form of involvement in a future development partnership with the Raiders. This most recent developer entering into the ongoing saga is apparently taking some early public steps indicating interest in an Oakland Stadium project.
The builder is development firm SunCal based in Southern California. It is common knowledge they have likely been advising the Raider Organization in some capacity since early spring 2015. SunCal was present more recently at a meeting with Oakland City officials. This was confirmed by Scott McKibben, executive director of the joint Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.
It is said the meeting was an open healthy exchange concerning the issues facing the massive undertaking of building a new Raider Stadium which has been a long standing matter. The topic at hand is what to do about the very wide $400 million funding gap required if any stadium development is to ever take place in the City of Oakland.
The details of the meeting are being kept under wraps at this juncture with no one from any side is willing to engage in a deeper discussion regarding the particulars. No juicy comments from the Raider team officials or the SunCal crew or McKibben who is being fairly tight lipped. Oakland’s Mayor Scaaf isn't saying much publicly either but sources are being quoted as saying the Mayor isn’t a big advocate of SunCal who have seemingly opposing views on what is the best use for the property surrounding the O. Coliseum. and again the city seems to be doubling down on the notion that Oakland will not be using taxpayer funds to cover any cost discrepancies respective to a new development project.
It’s worth noting that the Raider record isn’t doing the negotiations any favors either. Winning makes for great leverage so that’s pretty much a moot point thus far.
One thing does seems clear, the SunCal people have long been interested in working with the Raiders. Especially now that the once exclusive negotiating agreement with Kephart is no mas. if actions are any indication SunCal certainly has shown a ramp up in interest.
Lots will have to happen in the next few months specific to the Raiders intentions so the best leverage may be time itself. It will soon be the moment of truth for all involved with certain deadlines tied to 2016 forcing a decision as to the teams intent to stay or move elsewhere.
The sense from many is that the City of Oakland wasted years of valuable time on loser projects all while its popular sports franchises are seriously pondering a mass exodus of the city. Egos, quest for control, short term vision and lack of qualification have a way of steering bureaucratic government entities away from success and the greater good. It's too bad