Photo via AP Photo/Eric Risberg
After holding a press conference and rally yesterday at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf went on CSN Bay Area with senior insider Ray Ratto to give one last emotional pitch to keep the Raiders in their hometown.
Schaaf didn’t appear overly pleased when addressing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s letter, which lambasted her efforts to retain the franchise, and presented a multi-pronged argument to why the Silver and Black’s Las Vegas plans are not nearly as finalized as fans are being led to believe.
Mayor Schaaf opened by stating that Oakland has “a better financial deal for the NFL and for the Raiders . . . The cost of building a stadium, an open-air stadium [and] single-use stadium, is less in Oakland. We already have the transportation and infrastructure in place.”
Building in Oakland is definitely the safer choice, however, it is unclear how much debt the Raiders will have to take on if they proceed with their Vegas relocation. A fact that Schaaf aptly pointed out in her appeal to Ratto.
Interestingly, Oakland’s stadium currently sits on one of the best sites for public transportation in the country.
BART, a Bay Area public transportation company which carried over 17,000 passengers to the Raiders’ game on Nov. 6 against the Denver Broncos, is already in place a few hundred feet from the stadium.
Meanwhile, Vegas’ public infrastructure would have to be set up around the stadium, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in addition to the cost of the stadium itself and $350 million relocation fee.
Schaaf didn’t stop there, as she drove home the facts as she sees them stating that Oakland already has a “private partner in Fortress that is willing to finance the gap without any upfront money from the Raiders in the incredible Bay Area market that the NFL knows is worth more than Las Vegas.”
However, the NFL has shown they are not a fan of the involvement of the Fortress Group, and the amount of public subsidy funds (at least $750 million) Davis was able to secure — is simply something Oakland cannot compete with.
While Schaaf went on in her defense of the city’s proposal to keep the Raiders, Oakland already lost when they couldn’t compete financially.
Should the Las Vegas relocation vote pass, it will serve as further confirmation that the NFL is about money first and foremost, with fans coming as an afterthought.