January 25, 1960

A pair of developments clarified the Oakland ownership picture slightly. While latecomer Chet Soda was flying to Dallas to attend a meeting of the AFL owners scheduled for the 26th, Ted Harrer took a step back from the process, citing a fear that conflict among the local groups might harm the chances of Oakland getting a team at all.

Oakland Tribune

January 22, 1960

The University of California regents met and formally denied permission for the use of their stadium by the pros. Meanwhile, the Bill Jackson and Ted Harrer prospective ownership groups finally met for discussions, but no merger agreement came from it. The negotiators couldn’t agree about who would have ultimate authority. To complicate matters further, a third group of investors appeared on the scene, this one headed by local real estate developer Chet Soda. The new group also included Oakland city councilman Robert Osborne and Candlestick Park contractor Charles Harney.

Oakland Tribune

January 21, 1960

Oakland city councilman Frank Youell came out in support of placing a stadium bond on the June ballot. Ideally, he hoped to see approval of a plan to build a 50-60,000 seat facility with up to 10,000 parking spaces, located alongside the Nimitz freeway, bounded by Fifth, Eighth, and Fallon streets.

In ownership news, a report clarified that Bill Jackson and Ted Harrer’s teams had not yet met. The Jackson group announced they had sent a formal application along with the $25,000 entry fee to the league and had been in preliminary talks with Candlestick Park authorities.

Oakland Tribune

January 20, 1960

Ownership group machinations continued. Yet another potential set of investors emerged, this one headed by a pair of Oakland auto dealers: Bill Jackson and Ed Goldie. The Jackson/Goldie group also included Stanford graduate and NFL great, Ernie Nevers, who was thought to be a general manager candidate. A plan developed to merge the Jackson/Goldie group with Ted Harrer’s group. The Jackson/Goldie team claimed to have raised $500,000 among ten investors while Harrer said his group had come up with $350,000 so far. Barron Hilton thought the team would need a minimum of $250,000 ready cash to survive the first year.

Oakland Tribune

January 17, 1960

Ted Harrer initially ruled out playing in San Francisco, even on a temporary basis, but he later acknowledged that, if absolutely necessary, he would consider it, if to do otherwise would cost him the chance to run a team. Meanwhile, the AFL announced that Miami and Jacksonville were no longer under consideration, leaving Oakland and Atlanta, a city with its own stadium problems, vying for the final league spot.

Oakland Tribune

January 15, 1960

Ted Harrer’s group was trying to raise $500,000 for operating expenses by enlisting 20 investors at $25,000 each. Some speculated that the winning investment team might build a stadium using private funds, but Harrer explicitly ruled that out for his group.

Oakland Tribune

January 12, 1960

Additional potential investors came to light, including local auto dealer Jack Rector, and the situation became more muddled in several ways. Reportedly, Miami had already paid the $25,000 entry fee and Atlanta was in the process of doing the same. Meanwhile, the Oakland effort was still in its earliest stages and was already running into some problems. Ted Harrer said he wouldn’t invest in a team playing in San Francisco and Robert Lurie said he would only invest if the team were to play in Candlestick Park.

Even as various local backers were jockeying for control of the project, speculation as to who might coach the team appeared in print. One of the names mentioned was Eddie Erdelatz, the former Navy coach who had been offered the Minneapolis job back in November. Erdelatz, San Francisco-born and educated just down the road at St Mary’s College in Moraga, was a friend of Rector’s and was in town to pursue the open coaching spot at the University of California.

Speaking of which, Oakland mayor Clifford Rishell had met with school regent Glenn Seaborg and was told that the decision about the stadium was solely up to university president Clark Kerr. Kerr, out of the country, was expected to return to Berkeley on the 18th.

Oakland Tribune
Hayward Daily Review

January 9, 1960

A first meeting to plan strategy for an Oakland bid was convened by Barron Hilton in San Francisco. Among the attendees were Oakland Tribune assistant publisher William Knowland, chairman of the Oakland sports stadium committee George Jacopetti, Oakland city councilmen Robert Osborne and Dan Marovich, Oakland city manager Wayne Thompson, Berkeley city assemblyman Don Mulford, Oakland Chamber of Commerce president William Sparling, Robert Lurie, Hal Schoener, a former San Francisco 49er player representing local magnate Ted Harrer, and AFL leader Lamar Hunt. Hunt pointed out again that time was of the essence and that a local bid had to be put together as quickly as possible. For most of the meeting the focus was on getting a stadium. Of primary concern was the possibility that East Bay fans would not support a team playing in San Francisco, even under the Oakland name. A faint hope was held out that the team could convince the University of California to allow the team to play in 80,000 seat Memorial Stadium until an Oakland stadium could be built, but a long-standing university rule against allowing professional sports to use school facilities stood in the way. There was also a rumor that the city of Hayward, just south of Oakland, was considering building a stadium and trying to land the team.

Some negotiating among the potential owners leaked from the meeting as well. Osborne indicated he would be willing to invest up to $200,000 as part of an East Bay ownership group. Jacopetti also identified himself as a possible investor. Schoener said Harrer would be in, but wanted 51 percent ownership of the team as a condition of his investment.

Frank Leahy, the Chargers general manager, was also at the meeting to assist Hilton, and explained that a draft pool would be created from players let go by the other seven teams and that, in the interest of league competitive balance, efforts would be made to ensure that the pool did not consist solely of scrubs. Leahy thought each team would take about 60 players to training camp in the summer, with roster limits to be set at 33 by the first week of the regular season. Initially, the league was planning to start play the weekend of September 18.

Oakland Tribune