Source: Bank of America commits to help finance Raiders' stadium in Vegas

Source: Bank of America commits to help finance Raiders' stadium in Vegas

The Raiders recently lost a significant portion of their financing for a Las Vegas stadium proposal. They’ve got it back.

The club informed the NFL stadium and finance committees that it received a financing commitment from Bank of America on the proposed $1.9 billion project, a league source told CSN California on Monday.

The Raiders’ relocation prospects looked glum last month, when billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson removed his $650 million commitment to the stadium project after struggling to secure a proper business deal with the Raiders.

Investment firm Goldman Sachs backed out of the deal the following day, creating a huge funding gap in a stadium proposal aimed at getting the Raiders out of Oakland.

The state of Nevada has pledged $750 million in public funds from a tourism tax, with an additional $500 million coming from the Raiders and a loan from the NFL. Bank of America's backing will fund the rest of the project.

The Raiders hope their new financing plan will be well received by the league and set up an opportunity for owners to vote on their Raiders relocation application at the NFL owners meetings from March 26-28 in Phoenix.

A vote doesn’t have to come then, and could occur later in the spring or summer. The Raiders will play in Oakland next season, and have a team option to play here in 2018 as well.

Oakland mayor Libby Schaff also updated the NFL's stadium and financing commitees on a proposal to keep the Raiders in the East Bay, though a separate league source indicated there was nothing new to sway the league.  She released a statement emphasizing the city's intentions Monday afternoon. 

“Oakland is ready to compete," Schaff said in the statement. "We were excited to be offered the opportunity to make a presentation before the National Football League’s Joint Stadium and Finance Committee in Florida. We want to thank the NFL for this invitation to share our vision for a locally-supported proposal that could result in a new home for the Raiders in Oakland.

“Today, we presented a plan that we believe responsibly meets the needs of all parties. We made a sound economic case for keeping the Raiders in Oakland through the creation of what could become one of America’s premier mixed-use sporting venues. Ours is a project that enhances the use of the already-entitled Oakland Coliseum site for the Raiders and for the public benefit and leverages the site’s proximity to BART and other public transit options, Oakland International Airport and major freeways.

“The Oakland solution for the Raiders keeps the Raiders at home in Oakland, in the country’s sixth largest media market that is demonstrating strong growth due to its innovative and diverse economy. 

“What we presented demonstrated the commitment and effort made by the jurisdictions that oversee the stadium land -- Alameda County and the City of Oakland. I thank Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty and Oakland City Council President Larry Reid for their leadership. We have worked collaboratively with Ronnie Lott, Rodney Peete and the investors they have assembled behind this Oakland-based project. Together, we’ve created a framework that gives the Raiders a new stadium in Oakland that is responsible to the team, the league, the fans and Oakland taxpayers.

“The City of Oakland is prepared to support this effort in a way that does not endanger the City’s general fund using the “but for” taxes generated by the project to provide up to $200 million for public infrastructure and transportation improvements. This will support a new stadium and ancillary development that will enhance the economic vitality of East Oakland and better serve our community. Additionally, the City and the County are prepared to leverage the value of the land at this transit-rich site to create jobs, an enhanced fan experience and other opportunities.

“Ronnie Lott, Rodney Peete and the Fortress Group bring the financial assets and the capability to ensure construction completion, manage the sale of private seat licenses and cover any cost overruns – three things that are essential for a successful project to get done. Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete also bring deep and extensive ties with the NFL, the Raiders and our community.”

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch is a Raider. He announced that fact on Twitter in his own unique way Wednesday, completing a month-long process from initial interest to final signature.

The Raiders gave him a new contract and traded Seattle for his rights, allowing the Oakland Tech High grad and Cal alum to come out of retirement and play for his hometown team.

That’s good news for Raiders fans on several fronts. He fills an immediate need at running back created when Latavius Murray left for Minnesota.

It temporarily tempers, though certainly doesn’t extinguish, rage about the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.

[RATTO: Here's to hoping Marshawn Lynch upstages the NFL Draft]

Owner Mark Davis hopes to move his team when a new stadium is complete in 2020. 

Lynch won't be there. Lynch won’t represent Vegas. He’s an Oakland Raider, playing for the city he champions at every turn. Lynch regularly gives back to this community and might be its most popular native son right now.

Lynch missed playing football, but he wanted to represent his hometown. That was clear in his tweet. He explained it this way: “I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe…town bizness breath on me.”

He’ll celebrate joining the Raiders on Thursday with a block party and autograph signing in Oakland.

Lynch will give East Bay fans something to cheer for that won’t be shipping off to Vegas in a few years.

Nothing can cure the pain of an NFL team leaving Oakland a second time. Wins are ibuprofen, giving short-term relief to an ailing fan local base. He can certainly help the Raiders provide that.

The Silver and Black needed a big, physical primary rusher to pair with elusive, yet smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.

Lynch is that guy. There’s no question he’s a football fit.

Lynch is a strong interior rusher from several different formations. He could run well behind fullback Jamize Olawale, as a lone shotgun runner or in jumbo packages with quarterback Derek Carr under center and behind a hulking Raiders offensive line.

While new offensive coordinator Todd Downing will add some wrinkles to an existing scheme, the Raiders employ a versatile system that could suit Lynch’s many strengths.

Lynch ranks among the toughest, most aggressive backs of his generation and one of the best resisting tackles.

He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 2.8 yards after contact per rushing attempt in his career, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus.

Lynch led the NFL with 245 broken tackles between 2013 and 2016 – 56 more than the next guy -- and he didn’t even play last season, per PFF.

He led the league with an unreal 3.1 yards after per contact in 2014, his last year fully healthy. He played just eight times in 2015 due to an abdominal injury that required surgery.

Lynch is completely healthy after his year travelling the world, doing charity work and expanding his clothing line, but effectiveness is always questioned of running backs over 30. Lynch turned 31 last week. He heads into his 10th season without having been hit in a while, and many believe he can produce like few others his age have in the NFL.

He’ll take the lion’s share of carries in a three-man rotation with Richard and Washington. He reportedly gets an extra $2 million if he's just the second Raider since 2010 to reach 1,000 yards. There’s motivation to push for that and other incentives in the deal. If Lynch is in vintage Beast Mode and fans are happy, the Raiders will gladly pay the extra freight.

Here's to hoping Marshawn Lynch upstages the NFL Draft

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AP

Here's to hoping Marshawn Lynch upstages the NFL Draft

Marshawn Lynch is going to upstage the NFL Draft for a few moments by announcing his signing with the Oakland Raiders Thursday.

The problem with this is obvious. He can’t upstage it all day long.

The NFL Draft is one of those events that demeans all who come in contact with it, because it basically extols the three virtues the owners find most inspiring – dishonesty, bullying and treachery. Between everyone lying about everything they do, making players submit to the most revolting reputational indignities, and just good old-fashioned broken promises like, “If you’re there at 119, we’re taking you, oh wait, we suddenly hate you and your skill set,” the draft is largely a festival of misery.

Not universally, mind you. Some players love it, especially the ones who hit the lottery, get picked higher than they thought they would and go to the perfect team for their talents and temperaments. That’s not the usual road, but there you go.

But mostly, nah. And we’re not even getting into the cavalcade of media self-anointeds who think they know what they’re talking about but only serve to remind us that not everybody is a fun companion in a bar.

Now the disclaimer: If you like the NFL Draft, fine. Wallow in every minute of it with our blessing. It'll keep you from all level of other mischief, and it is relatively harmless fun if you can deal with the aesthetic unpleasantries to which we just referred. Just understand that you are spending 356 minutes of party prep for three days of partying and six days of cleanup. It's a hamster wheel of fun, but it is a hamster wheel.

But then there's Marshawn Lynch, who overcame being one of those draft casualties (because Buffalo didn’t work for him, and he didn’t work all that well for Buffalo, either), is coming out of retirement to be traded and then rendered a Raider in the time still allotted for them to reside in Oakland. As a distraction, this will play well enough. It sure beats DeMarcus Cousins being traded by Sacramento during the NBA All-Star Game.

I suppose this is a heart-rending tale of one man’s loyalty to his city (the right place at the right price), although there is the naggingly worrisome component that going back to football won’t be good for his overall health. It is the risk he runs, to be sure, and one can only assume that he has made a clearheaded choice, but this is not a spot that treats its recidivists well.

That’s recidivists, as in “folks who walked away happily, then found out they needed it too much for their own good.”

Frankly, there is no good reason not to want this to turn out well for Lynch (the Raiders can take of themselves with or without him, and within two years will do exactly that), but it is a case of bucking some daunting odds in what is too often a zero-sum game. That’s a level of risk that should make anyone queasy.

But it is what Marshawn Lynch wants, risks and all, and as a grown adult he should get the opportunity few are afforded – to chase and catch his dream until it stops being a dream and becomes a chore.

If it works out for the Raiders as well, fine. Lynch isn’t the one who will put them over the top in a conference dominated by three teams – New England, the Patriots and Bill Belichick – but if he finds the athletic closure he seeks, it ought to be good enough for the rest of us.

Especially if it even momentarily minimizes the rest of the hot rhetorical/gasbaggy mess that is Draft Night. If nothing else, here’s hoping Marshawn Lynch is the star of the night. That’s not the way to bet, of course, but a person can hope.