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RAIDERS' DEAL INCLUDES ESCAPE CLAUSE

Locking the Raiders into returning to Oakland could be the easy part. Getting them to stay through the 16-year term of the stadium lease will depend on turning written commitments into reality.

Club owner Al Davis said as much Monday after signing the final papers committing the Raiders to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, their home base before a 13-year foray to Los Angeles.Davis said he had kept his part of the bargain, and he expects coliseum officials to do the same. To lure the Raiders back, local officials have promised an $85 million stadium modernization and $42 million in loans to the Raiders to finance their relocation and to build a training facility nearby.

"Everyone has to perform. Words are just part of a contract. It's the spirit of the contract that's important," Davis said. "We've got to get all these things done and make it a reality."

Davis also said the contract contains an escape clause under which either side could back out of the lease if provisions in it are breached.

City and county officials have approved issuing $225 million in bonds to pay for the renovations and fund the operating loans for the Raiders. The bonds are to be repaid largely through ticket revenue and sales of so-called personal seat licenses. The licenses, one-time fees ranging from $250 to $4,000, give people the right to buy Raiders season tickets for 10 years.

The coliseum will be expanded by 15,000 seats to 65,000 and the luxury suites will more than double from 57 to 175. The stadium reconstruction is scheduled to be completed by the start of next season. Crews will begin working two 10-hour shifts a day following completion of the baseball season by the Oakland Athletics, a stadium co-tenant.

If the construction deadline isn't met, the coliseum could pay a $5 million penalty to the Raiders.

"I'm not out to hurt anybody," Davis said. "(But) the time constraints are great. We want that stadium ready for 1996. That's what we've been promised. That's what they've said they're going to do."

For their part, city and county officials expressed relief that the paperwork was out of the way so they could concentrate on stadium reconstruction and ticket sales.