The city of Oakland filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Tuesday, one that's been rumored to be in the works for months, against the NFL, the Raiders and the 31 other teams in the league. The suit alleges that the NFL violated antitrust laws and its own procedures on team relocation when it approved the Raiders' plans to move to Las Vegas.
In October 2015, Eric Grubman, then an NFL executive vice president, stood in front of a crowd of Raider fans at the Paramount Theatre and assured them the league would give first priority to a new stadium proposal in Oakland.
"Our hope is for all the cities to find solutions to keep their teams healthy, in their markets, for the next 30 years, not for the next three years or the next three months," Grubman said then.
But the city alleges, within a few weeks of that assurance, Raiders owner Mark Davis was secretly negotiating with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and the NFL went on to ignore a viable, privately financed stadium proposal in Oakland in favor of the taxpayer-funded one in Las Vegas. The other NFL teams are accused of colluding with the league because they will receive a relocation fee from the Raiders.
The lawsuit isn't trying to prevent the Raiders from moving. Instead, it asks for the maximum amount of damages to recoup Oakland's investments in the team, which aren't specified in the filing. The city and Alameda County are still paying back the bonds to remodel the Coliseum for the Raiders in 1995. Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker is working with two well-known antitrust law firms on a contingency basis, so their fees would be repaid through any recovery the city receives.