As the NFL offseason continues on and free agency deadlines approach, the front office and ownership of the Oakland Raiders have dilemmas to face both on and off the field. General manager Reggie McKenzie leads the charge for the impending free agent players, while owner Mark Davis has a franchise-defining decision to make.
When Davis officially filed the paperwork to submit a relocation for the Raiders franchise, those around the NFL assumed the Raiders were certainly on the road to Las Vegas. However, the Sheldon Adelson deal quickly fell apart after some disagreements, as Davis continues to find investors towards submitting a proposal for the relocation.
However, it appears as thou Oakland will not go down without a fight, as they have stepped into the bidding circle with a counteroffer of their own. According to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, the Fortress Investment Group has submitted a proposal for a new Oakland Stadium with the help of a Raiders legend:
A person familiar with the deal said Tuesday that the plan was submitted by the Fortress Investment Group within the past 10 days. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the submission was not made public. Sports Business Daily first reported the submission.
Fortress is working with NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott on a plan to build a stadium in Oakland to replace the outdated Coliseum. Oakland city officials gave Fortress the right to develop a plan for a stadium and new development at the current Coliseum site.
As the Fortress Investment Group finalized all the details of their proposal, they made sure to keep it a relative secret so that it was not made public. Their proposal will actually coincide with the current whereabouts of the Oakland Coliseum.
With all investment groups, there are major figures that play an important role and this case was no different. The Fortress Investment Group alluded to Raiders legend Ronnie Lott as a key spokesman for the Raiders to stay in Oakland.
Lott spent 12 of his 14 NFL seasons in California, as 10 were spent with the San Francisco 49ers and two were spent with the Los Angeles Raiders. The defensive back was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2000, with a deep connection with the Raiders franchise.
According to reports, the Fortress Investment Group had been in discussions with the NFL for a few months, with an original proposal around December. However, the NFL had some concerns with their original proposal. Upon taking a few months, they were able to clear some of the concerns the NFL had with their new offer.
The Fortress Investment Group and Oakland officials hope to present their viable case to the NFL owners, before they meet in late March for the official vote on the relocation process. While Davis continues to say that funding will not be an issue, a formal investor should be made public before the actual meeting.
To keep it in perspective, the approved plan doesn’t necessarily mean they are moving to Las Vegas or staying in Oakland, as three-quarters of the NFL owners need to approve or decline the vote for it to be official.