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Friday, February 20, 2015

Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers LA Stadium Team-Up Stuff Of Comedy

Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers LA Stadium Team-Up Stuff Of Comedy When I read that the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers were teaming up to form the development and financing plan for a $1.7 billion NFL stadium in Carson, California, I took the news seriously. That is until I saw the sentence where they said they actually planned to see “public funding”. Then I cracked up. Laughed. Loud. Like, just plain deep, stomach-aching howlers. And I did so for three reasons, which were borne of thoughts that formed in my head in five seconds total: first, the Raiders were the focus of a failed public funding scheme here in Oakland; second, no media reporter picked up on that in their coverage, and third, I wondered what kind of vodka the planners of this joker of an idea were drinking at the time. Any mention of “Raiders” and “public funding” in the same paragraph immediately point to recollections of the 1995 personal seat license program that was supposed to raise over $83 million, but only took in north of $56 million, thus, adding interest, leaving the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda paying $20 million total annually. So much that the amount the City of Oakland paid on the stadium bond issue remained fixed even as Oakland Police were laid off in 2012. So with that, why would anyone with half a brain dare to propose to another California city a public financing plan that involved the Oakland Raiders, a team with a habit of bad public money deals and constant noise about skipping town? Any type of public money has to go to a vote, and guess what? There's no escape from what would be a certain thumbs-down vote. Redevelopment Tex Increment Revenue is dead in California. Think you can sneak a Mello-Roos plan around the public vote by saying you're just going to tax the property owners? Ha. Good luck. San Diego tried that for its convention center expansion and got embarrassed in court – off to the voters! And what voter, in this age of talk of how much the 1 percent have and jacked up, hyper-high minimum wage laws in California cities, would actually bothers to back a public bond that quite literally would be called “Raiders Deal Two”? Did anyone from the Chargers think about this? Who came up with this idea? Do you see now why I'm laughing so hard. Why I just can't stop with the chuckles? It's funny. But what's not funny, from the Oakland perspective, is how Raiders Owner Mark Davis (who I have a greeat deal of respect and admiration for) is spending too much of his time being unfocused. Mr. Davis needs to establish a laser focus on the Oakland stadium issue, form his own development team, and make a solution. He can't do that screwing around with this silly plan that's being floated. Instead, Mr. Davis always points to someone else as the problem: it's either the city or the county, and not the Raiders. No. It's the Raiders as much as anyone else, and this teaming with the Chargers to seek public money (excuse me while I laugh again) proves it. The Oakland Raiders need to act by word and by deed like true civic boosters, and stop joking around. I gotta admit, though, the comedy routine is a good one. Stay tuned.



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