Publisher’s note: Below is the text of a media statement from the African American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG), which was edited by Post staff.
On Juneteenth last year, the African American Sports & Entertainment Group (AASEG) held a press conference to announce bold and historic endeavor.
With the nation still reeling from the videotaped murder of George Floyd, the AASEG declared that the time was long overdue for African Americans to have equity and ownership of land, housing, and real estate within their communities.
The group then announced that they intended to purchase and develop the Oakland Coliseum site, in the heart of Oakland’s African American community.
It is a common fact that whenever African Americans assemble to do something noteworthy, especially in the realms of business and finance, their capabilities and experience are often called into question.
The AASEG has not been immune to these kinds of baseless and frankly, racist attacks. However, the evidence shows that one would be hard pressed to find another group more qualified to accomplish this historic endeavor than the AASEG.
“What is not up for debate is the experience, financial wherewithal, dedication, and temperament of the AASEG. Win, lose or draw, their model of 100% African American ownership, equity, and self-determination is worthy of imitation by the entire African American community.”
Introducing AASEG’s members
Alan Dones is one of Oakland’s most successful African American developers. He is the CEO and co-founder of SUDA, LLC, specializing in large-scale, innovative, public agency projects and mixed-use developments.
Dones has led development projects both in the United States and overseas. In addition, his company is currently spearheading multiple development projects throughout the City of Oakland at this very moment.
Robert C. Bobb is well-versed in municipal consulting and partnerships. He is the owner, president and CEO of The Robert Bobb Group, LLC (RBG), a multi-faceted private/public sector consulting firm.
Bobb is the former city manager of Oakland, former city administrator and deputy mayor for Wash., D.C., and served as the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security advisor. Bobb is also the founding president of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce.
In 2005, while serving as city administrator and deputy mayor in Wash., D.C., Bobb was primarily responsible for that city acquiring the 2019 World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals, and developing a new $1 billion ballpark there. City revenues based on the development have more than doubled since 2006, and the bonds will be completely paid off 11 years earlier than expected.
Bill Duffy is one of the country’s most successful African American sports agents. Among his clients are current NBA superstar Luka Doncic and the 2020 WNBA No. 1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu.
He was named to the ‘World’s Most Powerful Sports Agents 2019’ list by Forbes Magazine. Duffy has agreed to apply his extensive network and decades of experience toward execution of the AASEG project.
Loop Capital, LLC – Loop Capital is the largest African American owned, full services, global investment firm in the United States.
Loop Capital’s CEO, Jim Reynolds, is a frequently featured contributor on CNBC and a partner in JLC Infrastructure, a private asset manager with over $800 billion under its management. In addition, Jim Reynolds holds the prestigious distinction of being chosen by former President Barack Obama to personally oversee his entire campaign finance strategy for both of his presidential campaigns.
Loop Capital is also an experienced advisor on Public-Private Partnership and infrastructure transactions. And, relevant to the AASEG effort, Loop Capital has underwritten offerings for the cities of Oakland and San Francisco as well as Alameda County.
The Unique Strength of AASEG
After AASEG made their announcement on Juneteenth of 2020, several other developers came forth expressing their desire to submit competing proposals to purchase the Coliseum site.
It should be noted that almost all development projects in the country — even those with prominent African Americans involved — rely on capital and financing by white or non-Black funding sources.
That is not so with AASEG.
The development model established by the AASEG utilizes Black investment dollars, and specifically, the largest African American investment bank in the country to fund their project. To call this unprecedented would be an understatement.
Whether or not the AASEG ultimately gets approved to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the City of Oakland leading to the purchase and development of the Coliseum site is a decision that must be made by the Oakland City Council. History will be the ultimate judge of their decision.
However, what is not up for debate is the experience, financial wherewithal, dedication, and temperament of the AASEG. Win, lose or draw, their model of 100% African American ownership, equity, and self-determination is worthy of imitation by the entire African American community.
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