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On Mark Davis, Oakland Raiders NFL Stadium, Mayor Schaaf And The Land Issue

For Mark Davis, Oakland Raiders Stadium Comes Down To Land, Not Money I like Mark Davis. A lot. He's easy to talk to and to get to know. He's not of the idea that he's all imperial or the high football wizard. Mark Davis is pretty much what one would hope the Son of Al Davis was who wound up inheriting his father's football team: a regular guy trying to get the best deal he can and stay in a city he loves. If this reads like a kiss tail blog post I think enough people know me to know that's not the case. I am grateful that he has enough respect for me to have asked me to create a stadium plan. Moreover, I'm happy that he still talks about this once and a while. I can openly say this: Mark Davis does want to stay in Oakland. I've seen him say that calmly. I've seen him say that angrily. And I've seen him say that tearfully. All he wants is to remain in Oakland, and contrary to reports by uninformed and inexperienced media types, Davis does not want your public money. I can say with confidence that it would be a shock if Davis actually left Oakland. Possible, but shocking. Indeed, if Davis left and took the Raiders with him, it would be a major failure for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. See, for Mark Davis it all comes down to one little deal point that, when you think about it, reveals how inexperienced the overall negotiating team for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is. Libby's new to this level of deal making, so matters that would have a more appropriate 'place' in a series of talks are a huge deal to her and to the person she's allowed to be the 'point-guard' Claudia Cappio. As a friend of mine who is a master dealmaker (well, OK, three of my friends who are master deal makers) tell me, that pair is really so new to the game it's interesting they didn't let more seasoned folks step into the public view, like Coliseum JPA Executive Director Scott McKibben, who once ran the Oakland Tribune, and The Rose Bowl, to name just two of many high-profile jobs he's held including steering the JPA. How about hiring former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask? That would have been a huge game-changer for Libby. Or how about Andy Dolich, who's had a top marketing job with almost every major sports team in the San Francisco Bay Area? What about former Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb, who wanted to build a Downtown Oakland Baseball Stadium for the A's, only to be fired by then Mayor and now California Governor Jerry Brown, who said during a June 22nd 2002 conference call in the afternoon, “There's not going to be a fucking downtown baseball stadium as long as I'm mayor”? But I digress.

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