Here we go. The City of Oakland has been threatening to file an antitrust lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL for a few months now. They have followed through with that threat.
“The defendants brazenly violated federal antitrust law and the league’s own policies when they boycotted Oakland as a host city,” City Attorney Parker said in a statement. “The Raiders’ illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers and dedicated fans with the bill. The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”
The suit makes clear The City will seek a resolution for the maximum amount of damages available and will not ask the court to prevent the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas or keep the team in Oakland.
The Attorneys for the City of Oakland allege the league has long used the threat to move to get significant public money to fund a private business. Such as the over $750 million they got from Las Vegas, with which Oakland was unable and unwilling to compete.
Also, like happened with the Rams move from St Louis to back to Los Angeles, the NFL violated its own rules set forth for relocation.
“The NFL supposedly has objective rules about team location which were completely ignored,” said Clifford Pearson, lead attorney from Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP. “Before a team is ripped from the fabric of a community, there needs to be a valid reason other than simply money. The City of Oakland deserved better treatment.”
In response to the City of Oakland’s initial threat, Mark Davis had threatened to retaliate by having the Raiders leave Oakland a year early. The ball is now in Mark Davis’s court.
It would be easiest for him to just renew his lease at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for 2019 and then, come 2020, move into the team’s new stadium currently being built in Las Vegas. But his pride could have him sticking to his guns and sticking it to the City of Oakland for daring to sue him and the NFL and pull up stakes after this season.
Should he do so, the Raiders would play their final game at OACC on Christmas Eve against the Broncos. And come the new year, they would be officially in the market for a temporary home.
Sam Boyd Stadium — where UNLV plays its games — is said to be a non-starter. The most likely temporary home would be Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego where the Chargers played before they too left for LA to share a home with the Rams. Sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers is, of course, in the discussion. The Alamo Dome in San Antonio has also been mentioned.