Photo via Marcio Jose Sanchez (AP Photo)
With the NFL owners vote expected to take place on Monday, everyone believes this to be the last few days of the “Oakland” Raiders existence. Despite the local media being skeptical of the move, the national media has run away with the idea that the Raiders are guaranteed to leave Oakland.
Everyone needs to calm down. Oakland mayor, Libby Schaaf, has released a detailed stadium plan, with drawings of the stadium’s development, and a plan on how Oakland would resolve every issue that the NFL has brought to their attention from prior stadium plans.
It remains to be seen what the NFL thinks about mayor Schaaf’s plans. If they are at all reasonable, the Raiders should stay in Oakland – as long as the owners don’t do anything stupid.
I find it weird that the national media has completely given up on Oakland. They think it’s over, but some well respected, local media members don’t see it as that. The owners are talking up the Vegas deal to put pressure on Oakland.
The Vegas option is risky because owner Mark Davis has to take on a huge amount of debt, the Raiders leave the no. 6 market for the no. 40 market, they are relying on large numbers of tourists to buy tickets to the games, and there could be a logjam of teams in the southwest region of the United States; even a Stanford economist believes this deal is destined to fail and will be a disaster for the Raiders.
There are rumors that the stadium itself would sustain a $27 million annual loss on the Bank of America loan. With Davis on the hook for the loan, relocation fee and a multitude of other costs, there’d be no possibility for him to pay everything off.
The Vegas deal is totally flawed, and if owners are smart they’ll see that. They just need an alternative plan to vote for, like Oakland’s. I am not saying that the Raiders are staying in Oakland, because I don’t know what the owners are going to do, but it doesn’t look as bad as the national media makes it seem.
Just because the owners tell journalists something doesn’t mean it’s true. There is a game of chess going on between the owners, and maybe one of their moves was to surround the Vegas stadium with a false sense of optimism. Maybe the owners are setting up Mark Davis for failure once again.
This is all conjecture, but just know the Raiders are not gone yet.
If I had to bet, I think the stadium vote will be tabled on Monday until the owner meeting in May. There is too much left in the Vegas deal for them to vote on Monday (including no lease deal), so there is no reason for the owners to rush on approving a deal that could be approved in May. Hopefully, if they push the deal back, that will give time for the Oakland deal to gain momentum.
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