Oakland News: A letter was passed to me moments ago that outlines the interest of the African American Sports & Entertainment Group in purchasing the Oakland Coliseum site for $92 million. The group consists of Ray Bobbitt, who spearheaded the African American Oakland NFL Expansion effort, which is part of this group’s focus, famed sports agent Bill Duffy, who was also part of the Ronnie Lott Group development team that tried to retain the Raiders in Oakland but lost them to Las Vegas, Oakland developer Alan Dones, former Oakland City Manager and one of my mentors Robert Bobb, and Chicago’s Loop Capital, where a family friend of mine, Darrell Williams, is good friends with former President Barack Obama, and is in the photo below with Loop Capital’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Reynolds.
I also know through a source that Oakland District Seven Councilmember Larry Reid has talked with Ray Bobbitt about this proposal as recently as last Friday. Here’s the letter, below, after the photo.
AFRICAN AMERICAN SPORTS &
ECONOMIC EQUITY THROUGH SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPMENT
1423 Broadway #183, Oakland, CA 94612
October 6, 2020
The Honorable Mayor Libby Schaaf
& Members of the Oakland City Council
City of Oakland, California
One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Mayor Schaaf and esteemed Oakland City Council Members,
The African American Sports & Entertainment Group (“AASEG”) has been working over the last several months to lay the groundwork for bringing a National Football League (“NFL”) franchise back to Oakland. One of the critical factors in our ability to attract a new NFL franchise is a viable home field location for the team. As well, we recognize the interests of city leadership in the holistic redevelopment of the Coliseum area consistent with the vision articulated by the 2015 Coliseum Area Specific Plan. We also recognize the City of Oakland’s interest in maintaining a home for its Major League Baseball (“MLB”) franchise, the Oakland Athletics. We believe that all these objectives can be achieved and to these ends, we have assembled a Master Development Team well-capable of marshalling the resources and expertise necessary to transform our mutual interests into reality. Our team, described as the “AASEG Team”, is pleased to submit this non-binding, indication of Interest, proposal to purchase the City of Oakland’s interest in the Coliseum property for a total of Ninety Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($92,500,000), payable per the schedule provided in Exhibit A.
The AASEG Team
In addition to the enormous community support for our mutual vision, AASEG has assembled a Master Development Team fully capable of executing the development of the Coliseum property (the “Project”).
▪ BDA Sports Management – Led by respected sports agent Bill Duffy, BDA is one of the world’s top ranked sports agencies focused, specifically on basketball. Bill has agreed to apply his extensive network and decades of experience toward execution of the Project, including assembling some of the leading names in sports and entertainment in support and endorsement of the Project. Bill was one of the architects of the Ronnie Lott/Fortress Capital plan that offered a viable option to build a stadium on the Coliseum site.
▪ Strategic Urban Development Alliance – One of Oakland’s largest African American real estate development firms, SUDA has executed millions of dollars’ worth of projects in the Bay Area. SUDA Chief Executive Officer, Alan Dones, has led development projects both in the United States and Africa. He will provide development consulting to the Project.
▪ The Robert Bobb Group, LLC – With specialty capabilities in economic development, urban planning and community and neighborhood engagement, RBG is an African American owned national consulting firm to both public and private sector clients. Chief Executive Officer Robert Bobb will provide consulting services to the Project.
▪ Loop Capital – The largest African American owned, full services investment banking brokerage, financial advisory and investment management organization, Loop Capital boasts a 23-year history of developing financial solutions for America’s largest public sector institutions and private sector firms. In addition to its global capital markets, Loop Capital is an experienced advisor on Public-Private-Partnership and infrastructure transactions. As well, Loop Capital is part of a team developing a 100+ acre parcel owned by the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Pier Authority. Finally, Loop Capital’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Reynolds is a partner in JLC Infrastructure, a private asset manager with over $800 million under management targeting investments in various publicly owned assets. Loop Capital is the capital partner for the Project.
The AASEG Team is well aware of the aspirations of the citizens of Oakland and other stakeholders with respect to the Project and is prepared to engage the City as a partner in the execution of a mutually-agreed upon vision embodied in a Community Benefits Agreement that includes:
• Local hiring with priority on racial equity
• The engagement and inclusion of local and small business contractors
• Environmentally friendly landscaping and sustainable, energy efficient
• Anti-displacement assistance and housing preservation policies for
residents in the development area
• The inclusion of affordable housing
• Project Labor agreements and labor peace
• Local employment and job access provisions, workforce training,
retention of existing workers, and apprenticeship policies
• Living wages, benefits, and stable employment opportunities
• Environmental mitigation measures
• Open space elements
• Sustainable and healthy development
• Transportation infrastructure and transportation demand management
programs, including transit affordability and accessibility
• Potential impact fee’s (housing, transportation, capital improvements)
• Other community benefits as needed and feasible, to be negotiated
Finally, we are keenly aware of the interests of the Oakland Athletics organization in a second option for a baseball stadium should current objectives not come to fruition. The AASEG team is prepared to maintain development space in the Project toward those ends and looks forward to engaging the A’s to fully understand and address their interests.
The AASEG Team is excited to work with the City of Oakland to develop a definitive agreement for the purchase and Master Developer control of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex and is prepared to engage staff and leadership to craft an agreement that reflects the provisions in this indication of Interest. We are eager to begin due diligence activities and formal discussions upon the City of Oakland’s acceptance of this non-binding offer. We believe that this historic undertaking will be a perfect example of the African American community being supported by the larger community in achieving economic equality. We are extremely grateful to be in a position to provide jobs and housing for the citizens of Oakland, and to continue to provide world-class sports and entertainment facilities for the entire East Bay region.
As America wrestles with social change, social justice, and economic justice, Oakland can lead the way in demonstrating what real impact is. As proud Oaklanders, it is a part of our DNA. It is simply who we are, and what we do best. We look forward to helping lead that change in the City of Oakland.
African American Sports and Entertainment Group
cc: The Honorable Rebecca Kaplan, Council President
The Honorable Councilmember Dan Kalb, District 1
The Honorable Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas, District 2
The Honorable Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, District 3
The Honorable Councilmember Sheng Thao, District 4
The Honorable Councilmember Noel Gallo, District 5
The Honorable Councilmember Loren Taylor, District 6
The Honorable Councilmember Larry Reid, District 7
City Administrator Ed Reiskin
The Robert Bobb Group
Oakland Coliseum Property Purchase Proposal
Schedule of Proposed Payments
Schedule of Proposed Payments:
At closing: $10,000,000
At the end of year one: $10,000,000
Year 2: $12,500,000
Year 3: $15,000,000
Year 4: $17,500,000
Year 5: $15,000,000
Year 6: $12,500,000
Again, with respect to the NFL, the same lawsuit that Ray Bobbitt invested $40,000 to start and against the former Oakland Raiders now Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL is not only still active, but restarts October 8th. For the group to have a snow-ball’s chance in hell with the NFL, that lawsuit would have to be dropped.
That said, if the group can gain some kind of joint control with the Oakland A’s, then the prospect of the NFL returning to Oakland becomes that much more realistic. Why? Because they will have control of land to build a new stadium for an NFL expansion team, or an existing organization.
Stay tuned for updates. Here is the letter on file:
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