The recent deal to keep the Raiders playing in the Los Angeles Coliseum has been blasted by Supervisor Pete Schabarum, a member of the Coliseum Commission who was out of town and did not vote on the commission’s part of the agreement earlier this month.
In a letter to commission President Matthew Grossman released Wednesday, Schabarum charged that in agreeing to dismiss its $58-million lawsuit against the Raiders as part of the deal, the commission had relinquished “a fundamental item of benefit” without getting any guarantee that a $145-million Coliseum renovation will actually go forward.
He also noted that the commission had voted to dismiss the suit without having been told the contents of the agreement between its private management, the Spectacor Limited Partnership, and the Raiders.
“If the stadium renovations are not accomplished, and the commission is left without a developer and/or National Football League tenant, or recourse against either, the commission and those who voted to dismiss the lawsuit will surely deserve the shame and embarrassment that will focus on the commission at that time,” Schabarum wrote.
Grossman, after reading the letter, said in an interview that the commission had no alternative, if it was going to secure the Raiders, to agreeing to dismiss the lawsuit. “I remain firmly believing that the decision will serve the community very well in the future,” he said.
In his letter, Schabarum complained that the Coliseum’s private managers never tell the commission about the contents of any of the deals they make for use of the Coliseum by teams, concert promoters or others.
In the Raiders’ case, in particular, with 20 years of Coliseum use potentially at stake, this policy prevents the commission from “properly analyzing the adequacy of its end of the bargain,” the supervisor wrote.
Spectacor chief Ed Snider and Raiders officials have repeatedly said the deal they made will remain secret, although some details, such as its term, the amount and date of certain advance payments totaling $32 million, have been disclosed by Bradley Administration officials.
Schabarum has been a critic for a decade of arrangements of the move of the Raiders to Los Angeles from Oakland.