Raiders owner Mark Davis has made it no secret that the team could be on the move soon, but the city of Oakland is desperate to keep them around. That desperation may soon turn into reality as the team and city are on the verge of completing a new stadium deal to keep the Silver and Black in Oakland.
According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the team and the city of Oakland have agreed to the "basic terms" of a financial deal for a new Raiders stadium, which is expected to cost between $900 million and $1.2 billion. Under the proposed agreement, the Raiders would get free land while the City of Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers would pay off the $120 million debt that is still owed from the Coliseum's expansion in the 1990s.
Per the report, no public money would be used for the construction costs -- those would be covered by revenue generated from the NFL and other private sources -- but taxpayers would be on the hook for any infrastructure costs. However, it's not clear how the $120 million debt would be paid off by the the city and county.
"That's a great question that we will probably not say anything about," Sean Mahar, spokesman for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, told the Chronicle Tuesday.
It is also unclear how the arrangement will impact the Oakland Athletics, who recently signed a 10-year lease extension to remain at the stadium that would be demolished if this deal goes through.
It appears that the final decision on the approval of the stadium deal will be up to Davis. According to the report, "everyone's waiting for the thumbs-up or thumb-down" from Raiders ownership.
Although the city and the Raiders are optimistic about these latest developments, the deal is far from being complete and the threat of the team leaving town is still real. Yet this tentative agreement is definitely a step in the right direction and shows that progress is being made to to keep the Silver and Black in Oakland.