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SPORTS WATCH : Raiders Redux

That was some game the Raiders played Sunday against Denver--a tough defensive struggle that ended in a close victory.

Not unlike the long, hard struggle that came to an end Tuesday when team owner Al Davis agreed to keep the Raiders in Los Angeles to play in the Memorial Coliseum.

The big difference is that there needn’t be any losers now that the standoff between the Raiders and the Coliseum Commission has finally ended. There won’t be if everyone abides by the terms of what looks like a reasonable and equitable agreement.

The Raiders agreed to play in the Coliseum for 20 years, giving the stadium and its private managers, Spectacor, a steady tenant to help keep it operating profitably.

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Spectacor agreed to start upgrading a historic stadium that, while venerable, badly needs a face lift.

Preservationists have assurances from Spectacor that the process of renovation will be handled so that no damage is done to the Coliseum’s history or aesthetics.

The political appointees on the commission won’t have to face accusations that they ran yet another tenant out of a publicly owned facility.

Taxpayers, even the many who don’t care for football, can rest assured they won’t have to maintain a stadium that’s a white elephant.

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And the fans may get an even better version of their beloved Raiders. Davis has always said higher profits in a new stadium could be used to pay higher salaries for the best players. After all, it would help to have a better offense to go along with that great defense . . . .


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