OAKLAND, Calif. – A predominantly African-American business development group wants to bring an NFL franchise back to Oakland, in the hopes of creating the first Black-owned team in league history.
The African American Sports & Entertainment Committee sent a letter to the NFL, proposing a privately financed expansion.
The push for the new expansion team started in June, and just this week, the group made an offer to buy Oakland’s $92 million interest in the Coliseum site.
They held a virtual news conference on Friday led by Oakland businessman Ray Bobbitt.
Bobbitt said when AASEC submits its final proposal to the NFL, the league will inquire about where the stadium would be built. That is why the group sent over a letter to the NFL, indicating their intent to purchase Oakland’s interest in the Coliseum.
The group said it recognizes what’s a stake for the East Oakland community that surrounds the stadium and will take into consideration community input on development and affordable housing. The proposal also includes plans convention center and sports museum.
So far city officials seem impressed.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for Oakland to have local presence in the ownership and development and create jobs as well,” says city council member Noel Gallo.
Committee members shared their plans with the Oakland Athletics in July and there will be ongoing discussions on how to move forward.
“Now not only do we have the vision, we have experience and we also have the resources,” Bobbitt said. “With Oakland being such a unique place for social justice and one of the primary components of social justice is economic equity and equality. This is something we are very grateful to be an architect.”