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HOLD EVERYTHING -- AL DAVIS KEEPS L.A., OAKLAND WAITING
Published June 6, 1995
Negotiations between Raiders Owner Al Davis and NFL officials "stalled in the final stages" yesterday, as the league's efforts to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park "produced more rancor than resolution," according to this morning's L.A. TIMES. Bill Plaschke and Steve Springer report that Davis "is believed to be asking the league for financial guarantees that would compensate him if new stadium construction does not proceed as scheduled." Davis is reportedly "nervous about turning down a rare, government-backed offer from Oakland, only to be forced to remain in the aging Coliseum" if Hollywood Park is not completed on time. In Oakland, George Vukasin, President of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, said time is limited: "We need to move. ... We would not only be selling tickets, but working with an architect. We need an answer in the next couple of weeks, and I think we'll get it." The TIMES reports that "the league would be willing to let Davis leave for Oakland immediately and without a fight." If Davis does leave L.A., the league would hope to relocate an existing team into the area before the 1996 season (L.A. TIMES, 6/6). ONCE AROUND THE LEAGUE: Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, Chair of the NFL Stadiums and Renovations Committee, said yesterday he is "optimistic" that the L.A. stadium will be completed by '99. Richardson: "I feel better now about the Los Angeles situation than I have in the last two weeks" (Timothy Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 6/6). In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli writes, "Clearly, the maverick Davis revels in the irony of his situation: The NFL, which spent years in court trying to keep him out of Los Angeles, is now dangling a new stadium at Hollywood Park as an enticement to stay." The league's deadline for the Hollywood Park proposal is July 1 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/6). Columnist R.E. Grasworth calls Davis' tactics "a sorry spectacle": "Davis can't pick a permanent home, because a permanent home would end the game. Al lost the ability to win long ago. But the game can't end until Al says it's over" (MCLATCHY NEWS/TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE, 6/5).