The breakup between the Raiders and Oakland just got even messier, and the timeline of the Raiders' departure from Oakland might've just been accelerated. On Tuesday, Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker announced that the city is filing a federal antitrust and breach of contract lawsuit against the Raiders, the 31 other teams that make up the NFL, and the league itself.
In the announcement, Parker accused the Raiders and the NFL of boycotting Oakland with their "illegal move."
"The defendants brazenly violated federal antitrust law and the league's own policies when they boycotted Oakland as a host city," Parker said in the 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 news release went on to accuse the NFL of using "threats of relocation" to demand public financing for new stadiums in addition to "using its cartel status to undermine competition and generate fortunes for themselves, all at a significant cost to taxpayers." You can read the full lawsuit here.
It's worth noting that the lawsuit is not asking the court to stop the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas. It's asking the court to award the city with "the maximum amount of damages available," as the news release noted. In September, Oakland Councilman Noel Gallo said that the city could win up to $500 million. But winning the lawsuit is no sure thing, as The San Francisco Chronicle explained back in September.
What's important for football reasons is that the lawsuit could impact where the Raiders play next season.
As we wrote when the news of a possible lawsuit first popped up before the season,The Raiders' lease at the Coliseum in Oakland expires after the season. The Raiders' new stadium in Las Vegas won't be ready until 2020. So where will the Raiders play in 2019?
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported in September that 49ers reside. But no clear or easy answers have materialized. The Raiders could still return to Oakland for a final season in 2019, but the lawsuit makes that option unlikely.. So could Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, where the
As La Canfora reported in September:
The Raiders have been in talks with Oakland officials for months and at various points have been viewed as closing in on an extension – there was a meeting between the team and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority on Friday – but things have turned contentious at times as well, and the municipality could demand a major rent hike and other concessions. And, with the threat of a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Raiders from relocating, the team could opt to leave sooner.
The Raiders will play their final home game of the season against the Broncos on Christmas Eve. There's now a very real chance that it'll be the final time the Raiders play a football game in Oakland.