It didn’t take long for Oakland, California mayor Libby Schaaf to put a spin on the recent vote by NFL franchise owners to allow the Raiders franchise to move from Oakland to Las Vegas. Fox News quotes Schaaf as saying, “Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed.”
That is a politician for you – spinning what happened to make the other party look villainous.
What actually happened is that the NFL voted to allow a team to relocate to a place where the team could get a better deal.
Fox affiliate KTVU reports, “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and a group who were trying to keep the team in Oakland, made a last-ditch presentation to the NFL last week. But that letter was “filled with uncertainty,” according to Commissioner Roger Goodell.”
The Mercury News reports, “NFL executives were not moved by Oakland investors saying they could start building a new football stadium almost immediately. “We worked for two years,” said Texans owner Bob McNair, finance committee chairman. “Our first choice was to try and find” a solution in Oakland. Added Goodell, “We just couldn’t get it done.””
The Los Angeles Daily News reports, “Closed out of Los Angeles and with nothing viable to turn back to in Oakland — a reality that remains to this day — there was uncertainty in the air for the Raiders. From which their recovery has been so remarkable, the NFL is now poised to unleash one of its most iconic brands on Sin City. Compelled to do so by a neatly comprised stadium deal too good to pass up and the absence of a viable plan in the Bay Area to offset it.”
Oakland politicians can whine all they want about the Raiders moving away from their city, but the team isn’t theirs. Mark Davis is the owner, and what matters is what is best for him.
Sure, Davis is taking a gamble by moving his team to Las Vegas, and only time will tell if the gamble pays off for him. Still, Davis isn’t doing anything immoral or unethical by moving his team.
Oakland’s leaders had their opportunity to propose a deal that would be acceptable to Davis, and they blew it. Now, the same free market that gave Oakland the Raiders in the first place is giving the team to Las Vegas. That is how the free market works.
There are no villains in this story, only disgruntled losers.
Instead of being poor sports, let’s just wish the Raiders well.