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LA Stadium NFL in LA City of IndustryBy Jaboner Jackson 8 a.m. |  Last week, delved into AEG's recent missteps with their planned downtown Los Angeles stadium, Farmers Field.  We examined the NFL's concerns with a team's "fixed return" and investigated delayed designs for Farmers Field.  Despite these missteps, AEG remains squarely focused on securing the San Diego Chargers as their anchor tenant.  This has paved the way for Majestic Realty to hone in on the Oakland Raiders for their competing stadium in City of Industry, Los Angeles Stadium (LA Stadium).  Today, we detail how AEG's faltering, estate tax planning, and debt financing creates the perfect storm for the Raiders' possible return to Los Angeles. 

AEG And The Raiders


Long before it was picked up by Yahoo! Sports and ESPNLA, we reported that AEG had had preliminary discussions with the Oakland Raiders about relocation to Los Angeles.  However, these talks between AEG and the Raiders failed to advance, and AEG focused their undivided attention on the Spanos family and Chargers instead.


Since the securing of an anchor tenant is a complex process involving myriad financial, legal, and regulatory issues, stadium developers are unable to reach advanced negotiations with multiple teams.  Developers, such as AEG and Majestic, must zero in on a specific team instead.  For this reason, we never discussed the Minnesota Vikings as a true candidate for relocation to Los Angeles, since they were never a true contender for relocation. 


But this is the reason why both AEG and Majestic need to focus on only one team, especially in this advanced stage of the NFL in LA game. 


Financing Not An Issue for LA Stadium has long maintained that the only issue that matters when it comes to building Brand

Spanking New Stadiums is financing.  Financing refers to the raising of monies to develop projects.  In the case of football stadiums, financing refers to the raising of debt financing.  Although others in the media have expressed hesitation about Majestic's ability to secure financing for LA Stadium, financing is not an issue for LA Stadium. 


The most important reason why financing is not a concern for LA Stadium relates to Majestic's own debt capacity.  Majestic is the country's largest private industrial developer.  Each year, Majestic secures in excess of $1 billion in construction and permanent financing.  Majestic is a real estate development company whose core competencies involve the securing of debt financing for large scale construction projects.  Majestic will not have problems securing construction and permanent loans for LA Stadium.


Also of importance is the recent Santa Clara Stadium deal, which we have covered extensively on this site.  The Santa Clara deal contains $850 million in debt financing as brokered by the investment banks of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and U.S. Bank.  We have previously described this transaction as a "pure debt deal," meaning that a minimal cash outlay by the City of Santa Clara (through the Stadium Authority) and the San Francisco 49ers (through 49ers Stadium LLC) was utilized to secure this financing.  Put simply, the Goldman Sachs-led financing for Santa Clara Stadium is equivalent to buying a house with no money down. 


This second point is especially important considering the manner in which Majestic aims to finance LA Stadium.  As first reported by Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports this autumn, Majestic plans to turn over shovel-ready land in the City of Industry to the relocating team.  This relocating team will then finance the stadium, meaning that the relocating team will obtain the loans needed to construct LA Stadium.  Accordingly, Santa Clara Stadium provides a framework for a relocating team to build an NFL stadium for essentially no money down, a process we will examine in depth next week.


Raiders And Estate Taxes


Prior to his death in October 2011, Al Davis owned 47% of the Oakland Raiders per CSN Sports.   Upon his death, this 47% equity stake in the Raiders was inherited by Al Davis' wife, Carole Davis (Carol Davis).  Accordingly, no estate taxes are currently due on the Raiders, since spouses have an "unlimited marital deduction."  But upon Carole's passing, the team will be inherited by Mark Davis, the son of Al and Carole Davis.  At this time, estate taxes will be due on the team. 


Accordingly, Carole and Mark Davis will have to plan for estate taxes.  For NFL franchises, selling an ownership stake to pay for the estate tax is most feasible.  Other estate planning measures, such as life insurance policies and trusts, do not adequately cover the enormity of estate tax bills for $740 million franchises.  Even though publically the Raiders have maintained that they engaged in sophisticated estate tax planning prior to Al Davis' death, we do not believe that Mark Davis will be able to settle his estate tax bill upon his mother's passing without selling at least a part of his eventual 47% ownership stake in the Raiders. 


It is worth noting that the Raiders are not unique in this situation.  Estate tax planning was the reason why the Spanos family retained Goldman Sachs in 2010 to explore a 30% equity sale in the team.  (The Spanos family and Goldman Sachs are no longer exploring an equity sale for estate tax planning purposes.)  Estate taxes were also the reason why Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, the children of Georgia Frontiere, sold their 60% of the St. Louis Rams in 2010 to Stan Kroenke.  The Frontiere children needed to pay their estate tax bill.


Estate taxes in 2012 will be 35%.  Estate taxes in 2013 and beyond are less clear.  Since federal estate taxes are a current source of Congressional debate, estate taxes are in flux.  The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 expires after 2012, at which time estate tax rates are set to increase up to 55%.  This could change depending on Congressional action. 


Accordingly, Carole and Mark Davis are faced with uncertainty regarding their estate tax situation.  If Carole Davis were to pass away before 2013, Mark Davis would inherit not only the team but also an approximate $121 million tax bill. 


Ed Roski, the billionaire owner of Majestic Realty, is looking to buy a 30% ownership stake in the anchor tenant for LA Stadium.  Mark Davis will be able to sell a 17% ownership stake to Roski.  This would maintain Mark Davis' equity share at 30%.  An ownership share of at least 30% is required by the NFL for managing control.  Accordigly, Roski would have to acquire the remaining 13% ownership stake from other Raiders limited partners.  Assuming a 35% estate tax rate, Mark Davis will raise the necessary $121 million required for settling his estate tax bill by selling 17% of the Raiders to Roski.


Santa Clara Stadium Situation


As we reviewed in our definitive work on financing Santa Clara Stadium, the Oakland Raiders will not be a second tenant for Santa Clara Stadium.  The 49ers are taking a large financial risk for Santa Clara Stadium and will not allow the Raiders to increase their own unshared revenues without the Raiders taking on any financial risk in the construction of the stadium.  Additionally, the 49ers will have management control of Santa Clara Stadium.  The Raiders will not allow another NFL team to manage their game day experiences.  The Raiders will not be playing in Santa Clara. Coliseum Situation


Although there has been speculation about a new football stadium in Oakland, there is no tangible basis for this speculation.  With the Oakland A's already setting their sights on a new baseball stadium in San Jose, Coliseum (Oakland Coliseum) will continue to struggle financially.  For the fiscal year ending June 2011, Coliseum lost in excess of $17 million in day-to-day operations. 


Despite public proclamations by politicians, Oakland lacks the bonding capacity to finance a new stadium.  Renovations to Coliseum under G4 financing are a possibility but unlikely considering the NFL prefers football-specific stadiums rather than combined baseball-football venues.  The Raiders lease at Coliseum will end after the 2013 season, at which time the Raiders will satisfy all twelve factors for relocation that the NFL utilizes. 


Perfect Storm for Raiders to Return to Los Angeles


With AEG focused squarely on the San Diego Chargers as the anchor tenant for Farmers Field, we believe that Majestic Realty has begun to zero in on the Oakland Raiders as the anchor tenant for LA Stadium.  The AFC West battle for increased franchise valuations and Brand Spanking New Stadiums in Los Angles has begun.  May the best stadium developer--and team--win. 




Later this week, I explain in layman's terms the estate tax planning situation of the Oakland Raiders.  And next week, I detail how to build a Brand Spanking New Stadium without using any upfront money. 



References from

Relocation Fees for Los Angeles (12/2011)

G4 Financing (12/2011)

Our Interview With (12/2011)

Financing Santa Clara Stadium, Part 1 (12/2011)

Financing Santa Clara Stadium, Part 2 (12/2011)

Jaguars Not Coming to LA (11/2011)

Financing a New San Diego Chargers Stadium, Part 1 (11/2011)

Financing a New San Diego Chargers Stadium, Part 2 (11/2011)

Financing a New San Diego Chargers Stadium, Part 3 (11/2011)

Financing a Football Stadium in Los Angeles, Part 1 (10/2011)

Financing a Football Stadium in Los Angeles, Part 2 (10/2011)

Financing a Football Stadium in Los Angeles, Part 3 (10/2011)

Financing a Football Stadium in Los Angeles, Odds and Ends (10/2011)

Nuts and Bolts of LA Stadium (10/2011)

Majestic Realty and LA Stadium Primer (10/2011)

AEG versus Majestic Realty (06/2011)

The Definitive NFL Stadium Guide Version 1.5 (08/2011)

Final Stack Ranking of Teams Headed to Farmers Field (08/2011)


Outside References:

CSN: Raiders and Estate Planning (10/2011)

Oakland A’s to San Jose (12/2011)

Comments (24) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    LA Stadium has been dead in the water since the start. How do you have an exemption for the environment and supposedly financing isn’t an issue and NOT get a team? Because teams don’t want that deal. NFL wants cities to pay for stadiums. Teams want cities to pay for stadiums. Or at least someone other than themselves. Nice try, but no cigar.

    • Totally agree Bill that is supposedly the purpose of coming to L.A. The stadium group is suppose to pay for the stadium to lure a team. No team will move to an empty lot because that’s what it will be if a team came and had to pay. Roger Goodell and Eric Grubman would Laugh at the thought of this project.

      The Raiders could also build a new stadium cheaper on their current lot and the land is paid for. The Raiders are also a give me organization rather than a spending one. If this wast farther from the truth they would of stayed in L.A. to begin with and would of never left. Oakland offered a deal L.A. couldn’t just like with St. Louis and it is all history. AEG has the upper hand if any team ever returns.

      And TBH I like my 3 daytime games the way they are on TV since these NFL clowns left. DO I miss not having a team of course but I wont shed a tear if their not coming back.

  2. This is Raiders land. Forget the political correctness and the sorry ass Rams fans. The Rams were Orange County. LA has always been Raider Nation. Who brings the Raiders back home gets my support.

  3. What do the Raiders do if AEG succeeds in getting the Chargers and building before Roski can make his plan happen?

  4. My hair wasn’t expecting this. Can we block this move?

  5. Let me sum this up for all Southern Californians: Hell No to the Raiders. We can do without the riots and mobs.

  6. Who evers comes to LA will be welcome except the Raiders. Please keep em in Oakland were they fit perfect!!!

  7. Majestic’s selling point for Industry is that it’s easily accessible for fans in Orange County and the Inland Empire- but Orange and Riverside Counties are mostly Charger territory.
    And Farmers Field in Downtown LA as home of the Chargers-LA County is Raider Nation!

  8. So screw both teams and just bring back the Rams.

  9. If the Raiders come to grand crossings Ed roski will have to pay for the stadium. I seriously don’t understand his logic. He goes threw all this work and doesn’t provide the fiances directly to the stadium wrong move and won’t get a team.

    What Roski needs to do Is agree to terms with a team and pay for the stadium himself. Their will be more fees involved with a relocation then a team to rebuild at their current location. The Raiders will not pay for the stadium. They have never paid for a stadium. One was provided for them. The Raiders could do it if they pitched in money but you are looking at too many transactions and Ed can’t afford them all.

    If the Raiders came to Grand crossings you would be looking at a similar scenario as the vikings The raiders would invest a small amount of 200 million than psls for around 150 million who pays the 650 million plus the 350 million relocation fee. Bottom line is they need a financial partner maybe they can make a deal with overstock. I know the upfront fees are a lot but the park would be worth the investment and the Raiders would make big money back in L.A. But until that happens AEG is the Front runner and the Chargers will be here in 2013 if AEG has their way.

  10. I don’t know what the hell people are smoking on this site. All five major counties in our area are a majority of Raider fans, bottomline. After that, because the Chargers were winning started to gain ground in our area and then you can count the small number of Rams fans.

    Favorite Los Angeles Teams:
    1.) Raiders
    2.) Chargers
    3.) 49ers
    4.) Cowboys
    5. tie) Steelers/Rams

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that. Anyways, AEG would take the Raiders on if it meant they owned the team 100% and who’s to say that San Diego won’t vote to approve a Chargers stadium which keeps them in San Diego. Oakland though, it’s going to lose all 3 of its pro-franchises in the Raiders, A’s & Warriors. The Raiders to Los Angeles, the A’s to San Jose and the Warriors to San Francisco. Oakland is about to become a ghetto-suburb of San Francisco and the East Bay will be an after-thought.

    • 1.) Raiders fans are most vocal and show their team spirit most. They are more hardcore fans.
      2.) Chargers fans are a close second. It’s just because you’re right, they’ve been successful more or less recently. But these are like fairweather fans.
      3.) Rams fans are like the most organized with all their crap but they’re so outnumbered it’s a joke.

      And then from there it’s like everyone has their own special team for whatever reason. Lotta Patriots fans nowadays, so don’t forget them.

      • If the new team that comes to LA wins, the entire southern California will embrace the team. Look at the Lakers. A winning football team has the chance to be even bigger than Lakers. And the Lakers are big big big down here.

  11. anywhere except the Raiders, we don’t want to deal with their cholo, gang-member fans

  12. I mean *anyone except the Raiders

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