Libby Schaaf has had enough.
The Mayor of Oakland has been embroiled in a tug of-war with Las Vegas over the future of the Oakland Raiders. Oakland wants to keep the team; Vegas is trying to entice it to move.
At a last-ditch rally on Saturday, Schaff was equal parts nostalgic, testy and fiery.
“I remember being a little girl cheering and crying at the same time because my beloved Raiders were being taken from my city,” Schaaf said. “We are not going to let that happen again.”
And then she let loose with this bomb:
“So let’s start to get real because that’s how we do it in Oakland. There is a story out there, and it is a myth that we are here to dispel. And it goes something like this: People are saying that Oakland’s efforts to build a new stadium have been stalled for years. ‘Nothing has changed, and therefore the Raiders have no choice but to leave.’ We are calling bulls–t on that.”
The crowd erupted in cheers.
Ronnie Lott — the former Raider and Hall of Famer — is leading an investment group that wants to build a $1.3 billion stadium, hotels, restaurants and room for an Oakland Athletics ball park at the existing Colosseum site. The team’s owner, Mark Davis, wants to move the team to Las Vegas, where Clark County has vowed to use a hotel tax to finance $750 million 0f a proposed $1,9 billion stadium. Bank of America has agreed to help finance the project, and the Raiders and NFL have pledged $500 million.
Some 24 of 32 league owners have to approve the move, and the NFL may have tipped its hand when it criticized the latest effort to keep the team. Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a letter to Schaaf, said the proposal wasn’t “clear and specific (or) actionable in a reasonable time frame.”
One NFL executive told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Oakland is not really viewed as an alternative at this point. There’s nothing new on that end.”