By Steven Tavares.
The Oakland Raiders are gone to Las Vegas, at least, in 2-3 years, but a legal strategy hatched by some fans to keep the team or its logo and colors in the East Bay, is seeking the support of the Oakland Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.
The proposal backed by the fan group “Forever Oakland,” is scheduled to be discussed at the Coliseum JPA’s monthly meeting on Friday.
Last June, the fan group held a press conference in front of Oakland City Hall to introduce the proposal, in addition, to announcing the assistance of anti-trust attorney James W. Quinn, who has successfully sued the National Football League in the past. In this particular case, Quinn argues the NFL owners did not follow their by-laws in allowing the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, while also incentivizing owners to allow teams to relocate.
“It’s become profitable for the NFL to move teams,” Quinn said last June. Following the move of three recent of franchises over the last two years, each owner stands to pocket roughly $50 million in relocation fees. “It’s a bizarre incentive,” Quinn added.
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, also a member of the Coliseum JPA, and Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo participated in the June press conference.
However, there may be some reticence on the part of the Coliseum JPA toward the proposal despite Friday’s early morning discussion.
The seven-member JPA first voted in July to agendize the Forever Oakland resolution for a later meeting. According to an early agenda for this week’s meeting, the item was first listed as a resolution authorizing the initiative. But a revised agenda released Wednesday afternoon downgraded the item to a discussion. The JPA staff also seeks direction from the board going forward.
According to a source with knowledge of the Forever Oakland proposal, the need for the Coliseum JPA, or any other pertinent government body to support the plan, is paramount, since the fan group may not have legal standing to pursue the case in court on its own.
Among the three possible entities–Oakland, Alameda County and the JPA–the latter is likely the most amendable group toward lending its support to the potential lawsuit. All three, though, may be saddled with $100 million in debt for the Coliseum remodel in 1996, while the Raiders have no debt obligations.