Oakland officials have been at work altering and fine-tuning various aspects of the much reported on term sheet between Oakland City Pro Football Group, also called “The Lott Group” on the street, and Fortress Investments and The City of Oakland, The County of Alameda, The Oakland Raiders and the National Football League. Much of the adjustments are with respect to comments made by the NFL’s stadium point person Eric Grumman on the term sheet.
This is not to say that I have specific knowledge of a recent meeting between the Raiders or the NFL’s stadium point person Eric Grubman and Lott, The City of Oakland, The County of Alameda, and the Oakland Raiders, but I can report that meetings on the term sheet have taken place between Lott’s Group and Oakland Officials, and more are scheduled.
Also, Oakland Officials are to meet with the Oakland Athletics officials today and regarding not just efforts to build a new stadium in Oakland, but also melding the A’s into the Ronnie Lott / Raiders stadium effort. This is very important, as Mr. Grubman remarked that one of the issues of concern he had was with what the Oakland A’s were going to do and their support of the Lott plan. Since then, Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval has expressed support; this meeting is to work out details.
And then there’s the Goldman Sachs issue.
I can also report, after talking with a source today, that the City of Oakland and The County of Alameda, which have a ban against doing business with the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, continue to be concerned that Mr. Grubman was not only once a partner in Goldman Sachs, but was enriched by the Goldman Sachs IPO that took place just before the turn of the 20th Century, and that the majority of new NFL stadium financings since 2007 have been done by Goldman Sachs.
The overall picture is a bad one that Oakland officials would like to see straightened out. Goldman Sachs has been heavily involved in the financial planning for the Las Vegas NFL Stadium – is the NFL intent on steering business away from Oakland and to Las Vegas to give Goldman what would be the largest financing fee in sports history due to the $750 million subsidy approved by the Nevada Legislature? Is this right?
Many Las Vegas Residents Say They Can’t Afford Raiders Tickets
As I write this, I’m in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2017, and for the 8th straight year as a credentialed blogger (subscribe to Zennie62 on YouTube, and follow Zennie62 on Twitter and bookmark Zennie62blog.com). I’ve talked to a lot of Las Vegas residents about the Raiders issue, and several ideas come up consistently: first, they can’t afford to go to the games; second, they’re excited about the possibility but think Oakland’s going to pull out with a win; third, many of them are fans of other NFL teams, but would try and go to at least one of the games if the Raiders were here. I will add that there’s another problem and that’s with hotel price gouging.
The Las Vegas stadium planners insists that tourism will drive NFL ticket sales here. But the problem is one experienced by CES media people for CES 2017: hotels have jacked prices up wildly, and so many have stayed home, period. One PR person, Karen Thomas, wrote on Facebook that “about half” of the media didn’t come this year. Considering that a price for a hotel room that normally goes for about $30 a night was increased to $400 a night, and you see why.
Now, add 60,000 people for an NFL game – that’s basically another convention of about 20,000 to 30,000 who would have to come from out of town. But the hotel price gouging factor has to be taken into calculations, and it has not been at all. If half of the NFL fans who would fly in for a game elect to not come because of hotel prices, that completely wrecks the stadium financing plan. Casinos and hotels may buy up tickets, but if they go unsold, then that effort’s going to stop. And then the financing plan would fail. That’s a very real possibility here that calls the entire approach into question. But , as I say, Las Vegas is not ready to host the Oakland Raiders or any NFL team, yet.