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OPPONENTS TO THE RAIDERS DEAL WANT COLLATERAL
Published August 3, 1995
Bay Area opponents of the Raiders return "took formal steps" yesterday to launch an initiative campaign aimed at forcing Raiders Owner Al Davis to "post collateral" on up to $64M in cash advances he would receive, according to Sandy Kleffman of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The group, Taxpayers for a Vote on Raiders Deal, hopes to gather nearly 30,000 signatures needed to qualify a measure for the March ballot. The group is "worried" because Davis "walked off without repaying" $16.7M worth of "loans" from two other cities, Irwindale and L.A. East Bay officials, however, say critics "simply don't understand the local deal." Unlike Irwindale and L.A., the Raiders will get money from the East Bay only after signing a "binding commitment" to stay in Oakland for 16 years. Should the team leave before then, the city and county could seek damages in court. And, as Kleffman notes, payments to the Raiders "are 'loans' in name only. In actuality, the payments are advances of ticket premiums to be collected from fans" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/3).