The Oakland Raiders are in the midst of building a massive $1.8 billion stadium in Las Vegas, which they will call home in the very near future. The team’s move to Sin City is already set to happen, but that apparently hasn’t stopped the city of Oakland from fighting back.
As Matier & Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle revealed Tuesday, the Oakland City Council has authorized a multimillion-dollar, antitrust lawsuit against both the NFL and the Raiders. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the lawsuit and situation surrounding the team’s upcoming move.
1. The Raiders Are Threatening to Leave Oakland Early
As the initial report from the San Francisco Chronicle reveals, the Raiders are contemplating leaving town after this season due to the legal action.
“The Oakland City Council has authorized a multimillion-dollar, antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and the Raiders over the team’s impending move to Las Vegas — legal action that Coliseum officials said could result in the team leaving Oakland at the end of the upcoming season.”
The Raiders find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, and if the lawsuit does indeed happen, it would be hard to envision the team staying for another year. Regardless, though, they are set to play the 2018 season in Oakland, as the games begin this week.
2. Raiders Were Originally in Talks to Stay in Oakland Through 2020
As Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal first revealed, the Raiders were, at one point, debating staying in Oakland through the 2020 NFL season. These talks came during the 2017 NFL season, though, so things have certainly changed since that point.
The team plays at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, where they’ve been since 1966. Their first game ever played in the stadium came on September 18, 1966. As things stand, it seems more likely the Raiders leave town early than stay for another year in Oakland.
3. Raiders’ Las Vegas Stadium Will Be Ready in 2020
The stadium features 65,000 seats and has folding lanai doors which can be opened for a direct view of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s going to cost fans a pretty penny for personal seat licenses, though. According to Velotta and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, purchasing licenses in reserved seating will range anywhere from $3,900 to $15,000. Club seats and other premium seats have price tags ranging from $20,000 to $75,000 per seat.
4. Raiders’ Current Stadium Contract Ends After This Season
With the lawsuit potentially coming, it makes the situation for the Raiders a tough one to gauge. They are only under contract with the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum through this season, which is why the pending move to Las Vegas could be moved up.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas has been tossed out as a potential home for the NFL team during the 2019 season. If that were to happen, it would allow the team enough time to finish preparations for their stadium and make an easy move once construction is finished.
5. Lawsuit Reportedly Worth $500 Million, Up-Front Fees Covered
According to the original report, the city of Oakland may avoid incurring any of the up-front fees from this potential lawsuit. As Matier & Ross reveal, this would result in outside attorneys covering the fees right out of the gate.
“In exchange, the outside firms would collect a portion of whatever dollar damages they are able to extract from the Raiders and the National Football League.” via the San Francisco Chronicle.
And as Mike Rosenberg of the Seattle Times reported, the “hope” from the city is to receive $500 million in damages. This is partially due to the fact that taxpayers in Oakland are still paying off $75 million debt for Coliseum upgrades from when the Raiders moved back from Los Angeles.
While the lawsuit seems likely to happen, there has been no final word on it. We’ll be sure to update this post if and when it is filed.