As the Oakland Raiders prepare for their first contest on the field, the team’s owner may have to start preparing for a legal contest in the courtroom.
That is because of a class action lawsuit that is in the works, stemming from the NFL approving the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.
“My ultimate goal is to pursue the National Football League and the Oakland Raiders to pay back some of the cost that our taxpayers will have to make up,” Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo said.
“We do need to stand up for our taxpayers and make sure the community is protected,” City councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan added.
The City of Oakland is within days of making a goal-line stand against the NFL and the Raiders in the form of a class-action lawsuit.
Gallo says the legal action is not about making the NFL team stay.
It is about making them pay.
“With the bond, we are looking at $90 million, whether the Raiders are here or not, we have to continue to pay as taxpayers,” Gallo said.
He says there are other financial considerations, the loss of business opportunities, employment opportunities, infrastructure, and development that will increase the $90 million sum to closer to $500 million. Regarding allowing the team to move to Nevada, NFL commissioner Roger Goddel is on record saying that the NFL and the Raiders worked earnestly, for a decade, trying to find a viable stadium option in Oakland.
“Once you put in payments of hundreds of millions of dollars for picking one outcome over the other, then the fairness of that evaluation is going to be questionable,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan is referring to a $350 million relocation fee the Raiders agreed to pay to the NFL team owners who ultimately gave the green light for the move to Las Vegas.
“They had 350 million reasons not to conduct a fair process,” Kaplan said.
That is why the city council is throwing a red flag on the move in the form of this lawsuit.
“I didn’t get elected to protect Mark Davis or the Raiders or the NFL,” Gallo said. “They could care less about me and that’s what they demonstrated. They could care less about the people of Oakland that have for years and years and years. The fan base has been extremely loyal to the Oakland Raiders.”
Gallo says the New York law firm of Berg and Androphy has agreed to cover all legal expenses connected to the class-action suit as well as any litigation that arises as a result for a percentage of a judgment or settlement in the city’s favor.
He anticipates the suit will be filed by the season opener Monday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The NFL and the Raiders did not respond to our attempts to reach them for a comment on this story.