The Oakland Raiders filed relocation papers
Thursday with the NFL to move the franchise
to Las Vegas.

OAKLAND | On the day the Oakland Raiders filed relocation papers to move the franchise to Las Vegas–the team’s second attempt in as many years to flee the city–Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf may have previewed the argument she intends to offer NFL owners for keeping the team in the East Bay.

Schaaf also suggested the team’s potential fan base in the desert will be lacking. “Oakland has something no other city ever will–a die-hard fan base that is loyal and true to the Raiders and wants to see them stay here in Oakland where they were founded. Only Oakland brings the Raiders and the NFL a competitive stadium proposal, along with legacy and loyalty.”

Oakland co-owner Mark Davis has repeatedly suggested its fans, known as the “Raider Nation,” maintain a national and worldwide fan base that will fill the proposed $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called the stadium
proposal offered by a group led by Ronnie Lott is
“our winning team.”

In a statement, Thursday night, Schaaf lauded the term sheet offered last month by a group led by Ronnie Lott and the Fortress Investment Group. The proposal and exclusive negotiating agreement was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Oakland City Council in December. Some NFL executives, however, immediately panned the proposal, while Raiders management has refused to deal with city and county leaders.

News of Thursday’s relocation filing was expected, said Schaaf. The comment is not unfounded. Lott’s investment group offered similar remarks. In addition, Alameda County officials told the East Bay Citizen in late November that a competing stadium proposal was forthcoming, but noted the Raiders would still file for relocation in January.

Now, the Raiders stadium saga appears to be entering a phase where East Bay elected officials believe the current proposal and overall economic strengths of the regions will trump Las Vegas’ plan.

“We’ve identified the mechanisms to responsibly finance public infrastructure improvements, we have in the Lott Group a private partner prepared to finance stadium construction, and we have an entitled site for a world-class NFL stadium and new development that enhances fan experience while invigorating East Oakland’s economy,” said Schaaf.

She added, the proposed new stadium contains many more positives likely to be offered to NFL, which could take up the relocation issue at an owners meeting in March. “Oakland’s Raiders stadium will be on the most transit-accessible site in the nation, in the sixth largest television market, and in one of the wealthiest and most innovative regions in the world,” said Schaaf.