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Homeless in Oakland

Homeless in Oakland
Raiders owner Mark Davis with fans as part of presentation by which the club would move from Oakland to Las Vegas. Photo: The Associated Press

Mark Davis and his Raiders partners will be taking their business to Las Vegas at some point in the future. Just when is anybody’s guess. It could be in 2020 or even later. It seems that Davis signed some document to move to Las Vegas from Oakland without all of the I’s dotted and t’s crossed and that has caused a problem.

Davis’s Raiders have no home in 2019. There may be ongoing talks to keep the team in Oakland for another year. So far, the lame duck Oakland Raiders seem to be doing fine in the team’s strange status leaving Oakland for Las Vegas. Still there are questions including what happens to the Oakland Coliseum debt that has to be paid for the 1995 renovations that got Al Davis back into the building after a sojourn in Los Angeles. The Coliseum debt is going to be a problem in the future as the Major League Baseball Athletic owners want to move to a new Oakland stadium by 2023. The building and debt will remain with no tenants.

Davis wanted Major League Baseball’s A’s evicted from the Oakland Coliseum so Davis would be the only tenant as part of the stadium deal and refused to pay the 1995 debt. Did Davis bargain in good faith with Oakland officials? No answer. In 20 years or so, perhaps Davis or whomever owns the Las Vegas Raiders will decide the 2020 state of the art facility doesn’t cut it anymore and want a new facility. Some of the $750 million stadium subsidy will be on the books but the people who structured the deal will be long gone and won’t have to answer why they put up an enormous handout.

Davis is stuck in Oakland for a couple more years. That should create significant discomfort for him and the NFL. But it hasn’t yet.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.


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