Within the past 10 days Fortress investment group have submitted a proposal to the NFL to build a new stadium in the Oakland area for the Raiders. The proposal includes a new 55,000 seat stadium costing roughly $1.3billion that would be built on the site of the current stadium, Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.
Fortress Investments have recently just been acquired by Japanese tech conglomerate Soft Bank for $3.3billion, which does cast some shade to the proposal. Even though a spokesperson for the investment group said “[The sale] doesn’t change anything” “Fortress is all in on the Raiders stadium deal” in a statement, you have to question whether this is really a priority for a company going through billion-dollar buyout or whether it will just be swept under the carpet.
The proposal comes on the back of news that Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs have pulled out of potentially financing a new stadium in Las Vegas. The investment group, led by former player Ronnie Lott, showed some interest back in June 2016 of keeping the team based in Oakland, but this is the first news that we have heard since they met with league and Raiders officials back in December of last year.
Executives from the Raiders organisation will present this latest plan to Las Vegas stadium authority board sometime soon, and hopefully this will be the wakeup call that we need to find a new investor for a stadium in Vegas and not Oakland. Raiders executive Marc Badain has apparently told the league that there are two banks ready to loan money for the Las Vegas project but nothing official or any names have broken out yet.
Regardless of where you stand with the move, the owners meeting on the 26th – 29th March in Phoenix is starting to get closer and closer, and it’s about now the nerves start to set in.