A group of investors, led by former Oakland Raiders safety Ronnie Lott, isn’t conceding defeat when it comes to the team moving to Las Vegas.
Despite the fact that the Raiders have already officially filed their relocation paperwork, Lott and his group remain committed to keeping the team in Oakland. In fact, from their perspective, owner Mark Davis filing said paperwork was done simply to keep the franchise’s options open.
“We are in this game and we are playing to win,” Lott’s group said in a statement, per the Associated Press. The statement said the Raiders’ filing Thursday was expected and done to “keep its options open in Las Vegas.”
Given the amount of effort and capital the group has already invested into its project to build a new stadium in the Bay Area, it’s not surprising it isn’t willing to let this go. Lott and his group have been working to get this new stadium proposal approved since last year, well before the 2016 season began.
On top of that, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who once was tepid about any stadium deal in her city, is now behind Lott’s proposal.
“Only Oakland brings the Raiders and the NFL a competitive stadium proposal, along with legacy and loyalty,” Schaaf said in a prepared statement.
However, Davis has had his eyes on Las Vegas for a couple of decades now, even going so far as to purchase the website domain for the Las Vegas Raiders back in 1999 (more on that here). The team even released a hype video about the move to Vegas last year and has been talking it up ever since.
Clearly, in Davis’ mind, this move is already a given pending NFL ownership approval. And it already seems like that next hurdle has already been overcome, based on some comments by prominent NFL owners.
Still, the fight isn’t over just yet. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next when the owners vote on the matter in March.