City of Oakland sues NFL, Raiders

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis (left) and team president Marc BadainPhoto Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tom LaMarre

The City of Oakland on Tuesday filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 teams, including the Raiders, who will move to Las Vegas in 2020.

“The defendants brazenly violated federal antitrust law and the league’s own policies when they boycotted Oakland as a host city,” Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker said in a press release. “The Raiders’ illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers, and dedicated fans with the bill. The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”

The civil complaint is a 49-page document (353 pages with exhibits) and includes seven claims against the NFL and its teams. (attached here)

Parker added that the suit alleges that in voting to approve the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas and boycotting Oakland in the marketplace for hosting a football club, the NFL and the 31 other teams violated federal antitrust laws.

In addition, the suit claims the Raiders’ move violated the NFL’s own policies for team relocation. The suit also will seek to recover lost revenue, which is money that Oakland taxpayers invested in the Raiders and other costs.

The immediate question is whether the lawsuit will require the Raiders to play somewhere other than Oakland in 2019 before moving to Las Vegas.

Raiders team president Marc Badain declined comment on the question of whether the Raiders will be leaving Oakland after this season, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Raiders have one home game left this season at the Oakland Coliseum -- on Dec. 24 against the Denver Broncos.

In Las Vegas, a $1.8 billion stadium is being built for the Raiders at the south end of the The Strip.