Mark Davis’ plans alienate East Bay natives, fanatics
February 9, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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In Jan. 19, 2017, the Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis filed for relocation to Las Vegas on the 15th anniversary of the “Tuck Rule” game in 2001 against the New England Patriots.
This news, on this infamous day in team history, hurt Oakland Raider fans in the East Bay.
Not only because it almost assures the relocation, but in how the franchise’s owner has treated the local fan-base — people who have supported his family for decades.
A few days after the relocation was filed, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pulled out of the deal that would have funded half of the relocation and stadium building costs in Las Vegas.
Even though this news blanketed the prospect of the Las Vegas deal in a shroud of skepticism, it brought hope to Oakland.
The ownership has disrespected the Oakland and East Bay community in the most absurd ways possible.
Talk of relocation is never easy for a region, but Davis has tortured fans by flirting with multiple cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego and of course Las Vegas.
Davis has been asking the city of Oakland to provide the land for a new stadium and to fund a huge portion of the project, worth $750 million, with public finances.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf has informed the Raiders and the media that the city will not use public funds for an NFL team.
So, why does Davis believe that the residents of Oakland should pick up the tab for the new stadium his team desperately needs?
The residents of Oakland have been robbed by the Raiders more than once. In the 1980s Al Davis (Mark Davis’ father) pushed for the city of Oakland to fund renovations to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
When the city and county denied him, he relocated the team to Los Angeles.
The Davis family played the city of Oakland once again in 1994 when they moved back from Los Angeles.
In the deal, Al Davis made the city pay for the relocation fee and the stadium renovations. Davis also strong-armed the county into giving the team $525,000 yearly rent (which is cheap).
For decades now, Oakland has been one of the cities with the highest poverty rates in the country. The loyalty that the residents of the East Bay have shown the Davis family and the Raiders organization is something that Mark Davis should take into account before deciding to leave Oakland.
The taxpayers in Oakland and Alameda County should not pick up the tab for the Raiders because they have already given up enough money and respect to keep this team in town.
The residents of this community deserve to be invested in, not extorted of their money.
Efrain Valdez is a social media editor of The Advocate. Contact him at [email protected]