NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s letter to the mayor of Oakland should leave very little doubt: The Oakland Raiders are as good as gone.
The Bay Area News Group published a letter from Goodell to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf concerning Oakland’s final push to keep the team. And it didn’t leave much room for any optimism.
Oakland had pitched a $1.3 billion development for the Raiders and Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s at the current site of the Coliseum. Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott is involved with the group that proposed the project.
But Goodell, with the owners set to vote next week on the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas, said the city’s proposal wasn’t “clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable time frame, and free of major contingencies,” according to the Bay Area News Group.
“Despite all of these efforts, ours and yours, we have not yet identified a viable solution,” Goodell said. “It is disappointing to me and our clubs to have come to that conclusion.”
One major concern for the league seems to be the A’s being a part of the project. The Bay Area News Group said the plan was for “a 55,000-seat football stadium, along with hotels, restaurants and space for a new ballpark for the A’s.” The Bay Area News group said Schaaf has said the NFL has asked if Oakland could shorten its lease with the A’s. Oakland appears to be unwilling to do that, and Goodell wrote “the long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication,” according to the Bay Area News Group.
The Raiders need 24 of 32 votes to approve the move to Las Vegas and a $1.9 billion planned stadium that includes $750 million in public money. While that plan has had its ups and downs, the NFL has never seemed close to being happy with any of Oakland’s plans to keep the Raiders. At this point it seems like it would take a major upset for the owners to deny the Las Vegas move, if only because there is no other viable alternative for the Raiders.
Oakland tried in the final hour to keep the team, but Goodell made it clear that plan wasn’t good enough.
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