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Davis: Raiders move turned to "bad deal'

Al Davis wrapped up his testimony Tuesday, saying he signed an "excellent deal" to return the Raiders to Oakland in 1995.

"But because of fraud, it turned into a bad deal," he said.

Davis, recalling the buoyant East Bay atmosphere in the summer of 1995, repeated claims he trusted assurances by Oakland officials that fans would pack a remodeled 65,000-seat stadium and return the team to glory.

The Raiders owner, dressed in identical black and silver for seven days in the witness chair, concluded four harsh days of cross-examination. He cited the souped-up "Raidermania" among Oakland's business elites, the news releases that announced a soldout 1995 season and the faith of the NFL to bolster his sense of making the Raiders a "No. 1 team in a No. 1 stadium."

Asked if he believed pep talks by Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum officials saying they would sell out the 1996 season by Thanksgiving 1995, Davis answered, "Yes, I believed it. But I also knew I hoped for it. I had been hoping for it."

The trial has provided a detailed look at the finances of pro football. Davis said frequent conversations with marketing officials led him to believe that with a modernized, expanded Coliseum, "we could sell out the stadium, PSLs (personal seat licenses), seats, club seats, everything."

But Davis also acknowledged he knows much more now about summer 1995. He is seeking $1-billion from the Coliseum, its chief negotiator and the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen for failing to deliver on sellout crowds and causing the Raiders to lose money.

Under oath, Davis estimated the Raiders would be worth twice as much in 2010 _ up to $850-million _ had he moved them to Baltimore instead of returning to Oakland after 13 years in Los Angeles. While Davis blames city and Coliseum officials for his financial losses, they blame the empty seats on lackluster Raiders performances, including a 4-12 record in 1996.

Davis, 74, also testified he had to move because the NFL spiked a deal that would have kept the team in Los Angeles. Davis sued the league for $1-billion after a deal fell through to build a new stadium in Hollywood Park. He lost the case, but it is under appeal because of juror misconduct.

BRONCOS: Tight end Dwayne Carswell waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Atlanta on a complaint that he picked up his girlfriend by the neck.

It also says Nkeiruka Anyamone sustained a bite wound to the arm that required treatment.

Carswell, arrested Friday and free on $2,500 bail, will appear in state court to enter a plea on charges of domestic violence, battery and obstruction of an officer. A hearing date has not been set.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Carswell's case will be reviewed under the league's personal conduct policy. It can fine or suspend players for criminal violations.

Carswell was sentenced to a year of probation after grabbing a former girlfriend by the neck in 1998.

He also was arrested in Pueblo, Colo., in 2000 for allegedly grabbing another woman by the arms and hair. Charges were dismissed after he agreed to pay restitution and do community service.

JAGUARS: Sunshine will broadcast four preseason games, including Aug. 23 against the Bucs, at 11:30 p.m. the day of the games. The network also will air Jacksonville's games against the Vikings on Aug. 9, Dolphins on Aug. 15 and Redskins on Aug. 28.

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