City of Oakland set to sue the Raiders over relocation

Vincent Frank
Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The situation between Oakland and their Raiders has now gotten to the point that the city is about to sue the soon-to-be relocated franchise.

Said lawsuit will likely be filed later in the week and could prompt the Raiders to leave following this season. Among other things, the city will be requesting that the Raiders’ name remains in Oakland once the silver and black does indeed move to Las Vegas.

We previously focused on this threat of a lawsuit. At that point, the Raiders themselves countered with a threat of their own. If the city did indeed file suit, Mark Davis’ franchise would bolt Oakland following this season.

It’s a good threat from the Raiders. Though, the looming question is where the team might end up for one season. Stanford and California have both pushed back against the idea of the Raiders playing at their on-campus venues.

The San Francisco 49ers don’t have a great relationship with the Raiders, making Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara a remote possibility.

There’s certainly a chance this team could relocate to Vegas a year early. That would require setting up residence at Sam Boyd Stadium, the home of the UNLV football program.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like a logical option given that the venue is miles from downtown Las Vegas and doesn’t have the parking capability to host an NFL team.

As it relates to Oakland suing to keep the Raiders’ name, that’s going to be dead in the water. A city can’t claim ownership of a private company’s name. The Raiders are indeed owned by a private entity. The courts won’t allow this aspect of the suit to go too far.

It’s dissimilar to the Cleveland Browns becoming the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 in that the NFL had promised Cleveland an expansion franchise. Then-owner Art Modell agreed to rebrand his franchise before league owners approved relocation.

There’s no guarantee from the NFL that Oakland will be granted an expansion franchise once the Raiders relocate. In fact, Oakland would be at the bottom of a long list of potential cities. That’s assuming the NFL has any plans to expand. It doesn’t.

In any event, this is going to be a drawn-out process as the 2018 season continues. And it could lead to the Raiders playing their final few games in Oakland before ending up somewhere else in 2019.