A group of African American businessmen and investors announced Friday that they’ve made a $92.5 million bid to purchase the city of Oakland’s stake in the Coliseum site, with the goal of launching the first NFL team that is majority owned by African Americans.
The African American Sports and Entertainment Group is seeking to bring an NFL team back to Oakland after the now-Las Vegas Raiders moved to Nevada when the franchise could not secure a new stadium in the Bay Area.
The group also includes Oakland construction developer Alan Dones, former Oakland city manager Robert Bobb, former NBA player and sports agent Bill Duffy and Loop Capital, the largest African American-owned investment firm in the U.S.
The bid for an expansion team began in June when the group’s chair, Ray Bobbitt, wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing interest in applying to own a team.
None of the 32 current NFL teams are owned by an African American while nearly 75 percent of the league’s players are Black.
With the departure of the Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, who played at the adjacent Oakland Arena before moving to San Francisco, the Oakland Athletics are the only team currently utilizing the Coliseum site.
The Indoor Football League’s Oakland Panthers were also scheduled to play their inaugural season at the Oakland Arena prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and will now prepare to debut during the 2022 season.