Raiders owner Mark Davis is not mincing words about the situation his franchise is leaving behind in Oakland as the team plans to move to Las Vegas next season.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore, Davis called the front office of the Oakland A’s — the baseball team that shares the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the Raiders — “real pricks” and the situation with the city and Coliseum land “totally dysfunctional.”
Davis described the moment that he found out when the city of Oakland was not going to honor the terms of an extension he had signed to remain at the Coliseum and would raise the rent:
“And at that point, I said, ‘F--- this.’ I mean, OK, I talked to [Raiders president Marc] Badain and we decided to sign the extension, but at that point we were now going to take the opportunity at other options.”
Davis also dished on the Raiders’ co-tenants at the stadium, claiming that the A’s front office has been “really f---ing around with us up there, taking advantage of the situation. Which, it is their right to do it, but it makes it hard.”
The Raiders owner has criticized the A’s for years. In 2016, he said the A’s essentially tied the Raiders’ hands behind their backs in terms of making stadium renovations.
The Coliseum is the only remaining dual-sport stadium in the country.
Las Vegas optimism
Davis seemed to have the opposite opinion about Las Vegas, the Raiders’ future home. He admitted that he “got his ass kicked” when he “came in third” to the Rams and Chargers in relocating to Los Angeles in 2016, but believes the situation has worked out with Vegas:
“The potential of Las Vegas, as a game-day experience, will be like the Super Bowl every Sunday. There’s just a buy-in from everybody. So that’s exciting.”
Davis made clear, though, that his beef is with the politicians and other key stakeholders in the Oakland sports scene. He respects the Oakland fan base and wants to finish up the team’s tenure in the city strong.
“I would have loved to have won a championship for Oakland, and we still may,” Davis said. “We still have this season. We have the greatest fans in the world there, and all throughout the nation but Oakland in particular.”
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