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City Throws Club a Formal Proposal : Oakland Makes a Play for the Raiders’ Return

From Associated Press

Local officials attempting to lure the Raiders football team back from Los Angeles hope to get a response to their proposal within two weeks, according to a chief architect of the plan.

“I believe there’s a very enthusiastic environment on all sides to proceed,” Alameda County Supervisor Don Perata said. “We have a formal proposal now on its way to the Raiders.”

He announced that top officials of the city, Alameda County and Oakland Coliseum sent a “strong, competitive” proposal to Raiders principal owner Jack Brooks.

Perata refused to divulge any details, however, saying he does not want to “negotiate this in the media.”

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City, county and Coliseum officials have been meeting secretly over the last six months to fashion a package of cash and stadium improvements they hope will persuade the football team to return to Oakland in 1992. The Raiders left for Los Angeles after the 1981 season.

The Tribune reported in today’s editions that the plan involves paying the Raiders a $32-million “franchise fee” that would be raised through revenue bonds issued by the Coliseum, which is owned by the city and county.

The package also contemplates spending $36 million to $50 million to expand the 53,000-seat Coliseum, according to the newspaper.

At a press conference, Perata released a brief letter sent to Brooks regarding the proposal. Perata said the letter was signed by him, Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson and Coliseum chief George Vukasin.

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Perata said the Raiders have not yet seen a copy of the plan.

Last year, Oakland paid $4.4 million to the Raiders in an out-of-court settlement after a lawsuit to keep them in Oakland failed.

“This is the first time Alameda County and the city of Oakland have given a formal proposal to the Raiders,” Perata said. “I think what it means to Raider fans is we are now putting forward our best proposal to get the Raiders back, and we’re doing it with one voice.

“Until I hear otherwise, I would be encouraged.”

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The Raiders’ lease agreement with the Los Angeles Coliseum runs through the 1991 season, but Perata believes an agreement can be reached with the club well in advance of that. “We’re talking about a matter of months, not years,” he said.

“What’s in here is not unfamiliar to them, and I think it will be received quite favorably,” Perata said.

But in Los Angeles, Raiders spokesman Al LoCasale said the Raiders have been mostly listening.

“The Raiders representatives have been listening to discussions from people speaking for Oakland, Sacramento, Irwindale, Inglewood over the last couple of years,” he said. “And the Los Angeles Coliseum is dealing with providing a stadium facility for the Raiders. Our role is to listen.”

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