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WHICH WAY WILL HE GO? REPORTS SWIRL AROUND RAIDERS' DAVIS
Published May 15, 1995
The NFL's offer to help build the Raiders and Owner Al Davis a new 68,000-seat stadium in Hollywood Park is one "he is going to find difficult to refuse," according to Will McDonough in Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE. McDonough reports that the league has assured Davis that two Super Bowls would be played at the new facility shortly after it is completed, with Davis receiving 10,000 additional tickets to each game that he can distribute to Raiders season ticket holders who purchase the personal seat licenses that would help fund the facility. In return, McDonough reports, Davis must play all Raiders home games in L.A. while the stadium is being built, and must allow an NFC team that could move or be created with expansion, to occupy the stadium "at the same rates as the Raiders pay to use the facility." McDonough writes that the NFL's Finance Committee developed the plan last Thursday and sent it to Davis on Friday. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue reportedly told Davis the Committee "unanimously endorsed this offer, and that if Davis accepted, the committee and Tagliabue would give it unanimous support" at league meetings later this month. One NFL owner told McDonough that "if Davis accepts this proposal, he would go from one of the bottom-end teams in the NFL in terms of gross revenue to second-highest" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/14). BACKUP PLAN? In this morning's S.F. CHRONICLE, Glenn Dickey reports that the league "has prepared a backup position" if the deal with Davis falls through and he moves the Raiders back to Oakland. Dickey: "The league would immediately look for another site which would be easily accessible both from Los Angeles and Anaheim, with the idea of building a stadium which could be used by two teams, one from each conference." Dickey reports that "ideally, the teams would be expansion teams, because the existing teams would share in the expansion fees." But Dickey also notes that Cincinnati and Seattle are possibilities. Dickey: "If both AFC teams moved to Los Angeles, the Seahawks would be moved to the NFC West" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15). NOT AN L.A. TYPE? Dickey reports that "it seems almost inconceivable that Davis would leave the rich Los Angeles market, but to capitalize on the area's potential, a team must have good marketing. Davis knows nothing of marketing himself, and he has nobody in the organization who does either." Dickey also notes that Davis' "primary goal" is winning, and the crowds in L.A. are the "least partisan crowds in the league." Dickey also notes Davis' relationship with other league owners: "Because of the extraordinary difficulty of dealing with Davis, there is some sentiment within the league for allowing him to move back to Oakland and starting fresh with new, more tractable owners in Los Angeles" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/15). LOCAL POLITICOS: If the Hollywood Park plan is not approved, Coliseum officials "expect the Raiders to leave" for Oakland or Baltimore. L.A. Sports Council President David Simon: "It's just a continuum. We want the Raiders to stay here, but what is occurring at the moment is the free market is creating an environment for the Raiders to decide what to do next. It's part of the business side of sports" (Mark Katches, L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/13).