LOS ANGELES, SEPT. 11 -- So on this appropriately hot and smoggy Los Angeles day, just 48 hours after a typically gritty defensive victory over defending AFC champion Denver, the doubts and feints and counterproposals and reversals of the Los Angeles Raiders' long search for a permanent home finally came to an end.


With the Raiders' reclusive general partner Al Davis making a rare news conference appearance to bless the deal, the new private managers of the Los Angeles Coliseum promised to spend $200 million turning the creaking albatross on Figueroa Street into "the finest outdoor stadium in the United States" and keep the Raiders from wandering off to Oakland, which they abandoned to come here in 1982, or Sacramento, or any of a dozen other sites mentioned in the team's tumultuous past four years.

Davis repeatedly insisted that this was the agreement he wanted, that he felt secure and at peace. "I was committed to resolving this in some manner so we could focus on this football team," he said.

He even teasingly suggested he signed the 20-year lease because of his long affection for the University of Southern California, the Coliseum's other major tenant, and the possibility this might give the Raiders, in need of a good passer, an advantage in wooing USC's record-breaking quarterback Todd Marinovich.

But as many know, there had been other news conferences full of equal measures of hope and certitude when the Raiders seemed on their way to Irwindale, Calif., or back to Oakland. Those deals had not worked out, and Davis did not deny that disappointment could come again.

"Anything is possible, yes," he said. "I've been through this a number of times, but these people did not flinch when it came to putting up what is necessary to handle this situation."

According to one source, the deal includes a $32 million cash payment to the Raiders and the right to keep $10 million in money and interest given by the city's Coliseum Commission to the Raiders eight years ago to build luxury boxes. The Raiders and the commission agreed to end legal action against each other and Spectacor Limited Partnership, part of the Spectacor Management Group that now runs the 67-year-old stadium, agreed to gut the stadium -- preserving the peristyle and other historic features -- and produce a modern 70,000-seat pro football facility with 150 luxury boxes, new concession areas and other items Davis has demanded.

Davis came to Los Angeles with the notion that an improved Coliseum would yield the profits that would allow him to pay the player salaries that would bring the Raiders more Super Bowl victories. Today he complained again of the disadvantages of playing "in one of the only two stadiums left without luxury boxes." He said he hoped this deal would help reverse the decline in attendance since 1986, when the bickering between Davis and stadium commissioners began.

Spectacor chairman Ed Snider acknowledged that the sluggish financial markets made this a bad time to raise the money needed to begin reconstruction. Davis said some delay would be required to win agency approval for historic preservation and environmental impact statements.

Stadium managers said the reconstruction will take at least a year, forcing the Raiders and USC to play elsewhere for one season. Asked where his team would go, Davis grinned wickedly and fantasized awhile: "We'll probably move the Dodgers out of Dodger Stadium or I'm sure we would be welcome in Anaheim, or maybe we'll play all our games on the road."

If the project goes through, the Rose Bowl might be available for a while. Davis and Snider declined to comment on the details of their arrangement.

Los Angeles officials, particularly Mayor Tom Bradley, were simply happy to have avoided an embarrassing reversal of their original luring of the Raiders, which had been considered one of the city's great sports triumphs of the 1980s, along with the 1984 Olympics and the Lakers' NBA championships.

"No taxpayer money will be used to support the renovation of the Coliseum," Bradley said in a statement issued in London, where he was visiting. "It will be completed entirely through the funds generated through ticket sales by the Coliseum managers."

Davis noted he had announced in March that he would probably take the team back to Oakland, before voters there revolted against the use of tax dollars to lure the Raiders and negotiations for a subsitute deal fell through. As late as Aug. 25 Oakland city council member Wilson Riles Jr. was predicting the Raiders would return to Oakland this season, but Davis said "unfortunately Oakland couldn't deliver."

{What must be must be, that's all," Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson told the Associated Press. "As far as I'm concerned, Oakland and the county did their best to try and work out something satisfactory and it just didn't work out."

The city made a "strong aggressive effort" but it couldn't compete with private offers that didn't have to "undergo public scrutiny," said Don Perata, chairman of the Alameda County Supervisors.

Perata said he was "disappointed but wouldn't have done anything differently."}