Raiders stadium search still in preliminary stage

Raiders want $800 million stadium in Oakland

Raiders stadium search still in preliminary stage
July 16, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Both sides are conducting studies to determine the demand and financial viability of the project. There is a real sense of urgency for both parties.
Raiders director of public affairs Mike Taylor

The Raiders have commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of a new stadium. The City of Oakland and County of Alameda have, too.

No formal proposals have been made, which means another Raiders stadium initiative remains in the preliminary stages.

That was emphasized on Tuesday morning by Dave Stone of AECOM, the company conducting the stadium feasibility study for the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. Stone cautioned against taking too much stock from Monday’s exploratory meeting of the Oakland/Alameda board that controls the Oakland Coliseum complex.

That meeting generated discussion that the Raiders are looking for a new 50,000-seat stadium that would cost $800 million and require public funding to complete.

[RELATED: Report -- Raiders considering new, smaller stadium on current site of O.co]

Stone said those numbers are not concrete and are merely estimates.

“There really isn’t a lot of science to them,” Stone said. “The reason why those numbers came out is because I opened up an older version of the presentation that contained rough placeholders to use until we got better information. We didn’t.”

The discussion regarding a new Raiders stadium is in the academic stage, with better information due in the fall. Stone expects AECOM’s Oakland/Alameda commissioned study to conclude in August and be ready for a public proposal in September.

The Raiders aren’t done investigating, either.

“Both sides are conducting studies to determine the demand and financial viability of the project,” Raiders director of public affairs Mike Taylor said in a statement. “There is a real sense of urgency for both parties.”

The Raiders are entering the final year of their lease with Coliseum, a nearly 47-year old structure that has fallen into disrepair. They’d like a new stadium, and Oakland and Alameda County don't want to lose an NFL franchise.

The exact size and cost of a new stadium remains in question. A 50,000-seat attendance figure in the initial proposal stuck a chord locally because it would make the Raiders' facility the NFL’s smallest venue.

“In terms of having 50,000 seats, that’s very preliminary,” Stone said. “In no way is it written in stone. … It’s a rough, round-number estimate.

“At this stage, everything is very preliminary. The Raiders haven’t made a public or private request for any amount of public money. We’re all still working.”

Stadium financing is a major part of these studies. The Raiders will provide some, and AECOM is searching for creative ways to publically finance some more of the estimated $800 million total cost.

The NFL’s G4 loan policy, which offers low-interest loans for stadium projects at a maximum of $200 million, may be available to help finance the project. The NFL had no comment on the latest Raiders-Alameda County proposal.

Those issues will be discussed in earnest in September, when AECOM’s formal proposal is released and the search for a new Raiders stadium moves forward.