An LRT could be on the horizon for the Oakland Raiders if the city and the team agree on a deal that would build a $1.9 billion line from Fremont to the Oakland International Airport.
The city is seeking $1 billion in federal aid to pay for a second phase of the $5 billion project.
A deal would allow the Raiders to expand the stadium by about 100,000 seats and would provide new parking, street lighting and a pedestrian bridge.
“I think the Raiders should consider it,” said Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents the area.
“They could be a big factor in what happens.”
The Raiders have made a lot of noise about wanting to build a stadium near the airport, but they have said the current plan to build it on a piece of land on the East Bay coast is the only option.
They also have not said when they might build it.
Gallo said he’d like to see the city build the line as a separate project and would support an extension of the line for at least three more years, or if that isn’t possible.
“We should be doing everything possible to support the Raiders in their effort to build the stadium,” Gallo said.
“The question is, how do you fund it?”
If the city doesn’t fund the project, the Raiders could ask the federal government to build another part of the LRT.
The city and NFL have been negotiating about how to handle the line, which would be in a remote area of the city that is not well served by BART, Amtrak or the Port of Oakland.
Oakland is in the midst of a massive urban renewal program, which has put a huge demand on the city’s infrastructure and is a key reason why the Raiders are moving forward with the LRCA.
The plan calls for the city to pay a total of $2.6 billion in public subsidies for the stadium and the other $800 million would come from private sources.
If that were not enough, the city could also take over a portion of the existing $2 billion Redevelopment District and put in a portion.
That would give the city more flexibility to put the LTRs up where it wants and could potentially bring a new layer of support.
“If you take the land from the airport and put it on the peninsula, it could be done in a very short amount of time,” said Tom Burtch, an economist and associate professor at UC Berkeley.
“If you put it right in the heart of Oakland, it would be very, very hard to do that.
So I think the public support could be very high.”
Oakland has a history of building public transit projects, including the L train and light rail.
The team has been working with the city on this plan for years, and it could happen if the Raiders and city work out a deal.
But the stadium project is far from done.
There are still hurdles, including how much of the project would be built and how the Raiders would pay for it.
The Raiders could also have to agree to a $100 million bond issue that would be used to pay off the project and fund a public transportation plan.