Mark Davis is yanking the Raiders out of Oakland because he couldn’t get Oakland taxpayers to pony up three quarters of a billion dollars to buy him a new stadium in town. The Raiders have a large and passionate fan base in Oakland, and Oakland is situated in one of the country’s largest and healthiest media markets, but Davis absolutely does not give a shit about that. He used the threat of relocation to draw a tentative and wildly unhealthy stadium deal framework out of the Oakland city council, then used that as leverage to squeeze an insane and incredible $750 million out of Las Vegas taxpayers.
Keep all that greed and ruthless exploitation in mind when you read this tweet from one of the NFL’s great stooges, congratulating the Raiders for throwing a fucking pittance at the city they’ve milked dry and abandoned:
“Donated” is doing a lot of work, there. Oakland has been back-breakingly generous to the Raiders over the years, and for their loyalty they’ve been used and dumped and replaced. The city picked up the tab on $200 million in stadium renovations when the Raiders returned to town in 1995, and will be paying off that debt at a cost of $13 million a year until the year 2025, for a total cost with interest of $350 million. It’s the kind of hideous handout to a billionaire NFL owner that can cause budget constraints for a strained tax base. Like, say, the kind of budget constraint that cuts into essential services and causes a Unified School District to cut youth sports. But, hey, thanks so much, Raiders! Your generosity will certainly not go unannounced.