Jan 212016
 

Perfectly illustrating the uncertainty surrounding information coming from the AFL’s meeting in Dallas, the Atlanta bid, in a complete reversal of opinion, now appeared to be the shoo-in choice. A preliminary ballot among the seven team owners revealed a 6-1 vote in favor of the Georgia city over Oakland. George McKeon’s San Francisco proposal was now out of the running entirely. Spurred into action by the vote, the Oakland forces pulled out all the stops. Impassioned pleas for the city’s bid arrived in Dallas by telegram from mayor Cliff Rishell, congressman George Miller, and William Sparling of the Chamber of Commerce. On another front, councilman Frank Youell, in an appeal to San Francisco city officials, went straight for the heart, asking them to allow an Oakland team to use one of their stadiums, reminding them how Oakland had opened its doors to San Franciscans after the 1906 earthquake.

Oakland Tribune

Jan 212016
 

The news out of Dallas was that Atlanta was probably out of the running and that the competition was now between Chet Soda’s Oakland group and and George McKeon’s San Francisco assemblage. While the AFL continued their deliberations, Robert Osborne returned to Oakland to report to the city council. During the council’s meeting, they voted to put a measure on the June ballot to finance a stadium with revenue bonds.

Oakland Tribune

Jan 212016
 

Developments in the Oakland ownership derby became more muddled. One of the potential bidders, Bill Jackson, had flown to Dallas to make a presentation, but after witnessing Chet Soda’s pitch, Jackson withdrew from the process, saying Soda had done a great job. However, back in the Bay Area, a fourth group emerged. This one was led by George McKeon, son of a local construction firm owner, and Kezar Stadium concessionaire Bernard Hagen. McKeon and Hagen had sent a telegram to the league asking for consideration of their bid for a team representing San Francisco.

In Dallas, the AFL continued to weigh their options. Observers thought Oakland now had the inside track and that the San Francisco bid seemed unlikely to get much support. These sources pointed out that the AFL had already invaded two NFL cities, New York and Los Angeles, and even a third, if Dallas counted. But the league was still clearly undecided. Bud Adams of Houston and Ralph Wilson of Buffalo were said to favor Atlanta, while Dallas’s Lamar Hunt and Barron Hilton in Los Angeles were Oakland backers. Aiding the Oakland position was confirmation by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Commission that Kezar Stadium and Candlestick Park would be available as long as a team’s needs didn’t conflict with those of the Giants and 49ers.

Oakland Tribune

Jan 212016
 

In Dallas, Chet Soda, supported by fellow investors Robert Osborne and San Leandro contractor Wayne Valley, made his presentation to the AFL. An Atlanta group was also there making a competing bid. No consensus had yet emerged, though some thought Houston owner Bud Adams was leaning toward Atlanta because it would make for an easier split of the league into eastern and western divisions and because there was a strong untapped market for professional football in the South.

Oakland Tribune

Jan 212016
 

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

Jan 212016
 

In a statement to the press, San Francisco mayor George Christopher wondered whether the Bay Area could support two professional teams. The statement prompted some fear that mayor’s concerns might influence the Kezar and Candlestick authorities to withdraw permission for an AFL team to use either stadium.

Oakland Tribune

Jan 212016
 

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

Jan 142016
 

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

Jan 142016
 

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

Jan 142016
 

The AFL announced that signing rights to the draft choices of the dead Minneapolis franchise would be transferred to the new team and that an additional draft pool would be created out of players supplied by the other seven teams. Specifics of the allocation draft would be forthcoming.

Oakland Tribune