The ongoing off-the-field process with the Oakland Raiders has created quite the dilemma in the NFL. While general managers and the front office are going through free agency and preparing for the NFL Draft, the owners understand they have a role in the potential relocation for the Raiders.
While Mark Davis continues his ploy to secure an approval for the Las Vegas stadium, the situation in Oakland remains up in the air. Although Davis hasn’t really addressed or given the media any immediate update, the Oakland supporters haven’t given up just yet.
Former Los Angeles Raiders player and Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott joined the Fortress Investment Group for an Oakland stadium proposal. The investment group reached out to the NFL and demonstrated the affirmative action they have taken.
Lott has gone to the Oakland community to help gain support for the Raiders, as many fans have been left in the dark and do not want to see their beloved team leave. During a brief meeting with many Oakland faithful, Lott alluded to the situation he faced in Oakland and how no other city could compare to it, via Elliot Almond of Mercury News:
“When you come out of the tunnel in this community — and you guys know this — everybody understands what that feels like,” Lott told about 100 fans gathered at the Oakland Airport Hilton hotel to protest against relocation.
“Everybody in here understands that’s a feeling inside, you can’t pay for that. I want you guys to know when I think about the feeling inside of what you guys are doing, it is the utmost respect.”
The last-ditch effort comes during a bleak time, as Davis continues to put forth a strong proposal towards his desired relocation. The NFL owners will meet sometime in late March to conduct the official vote, with Davis needing at least 24 owners to approve his idea for it to become official.
Lott and the Fortress Investment Group headlined the $1.3 billion stadium proposal, which would construct a new stadium at the current site of the Oakland Coliseum.
Davis’ current proposal involves a $1.9 billion, domed-roof stadium near the Las Vegas strip. Nevada would contribute $750 million towards the stadium, backed by a new tax proposal that took effect starting in March. The Raiders and the NFL are also expected to contribute roughly $500 million themselves, while Davis has secured a $650 million loan from Bank of America.
Although general manager Reggie McKenzie has continued constructing the 2017 roster, the relocation issue seems to have taken center stage for the Raiders.