With NFL owners set to vote this week on the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas, Roger Goodell has sent one more it’s over message to the city of Oakland. Though the move is reportedly all but officially a done deal, the city presented one final plan to keep the team this week, with a proposal for a $1.3 billion stadium project. But that plan relies far more on the team and league being willing to contribute to the cost of their own arena than does the one from Las Vegas, which comes with a record $750 million in public funding. Naturally, Goodell’s not interested in entertaining the idea.
Goodell responded to the city’s proposal with a letter to mayor Libby Schaaf, obtained by ESPN and others. Oakland’s revised plan was never more than a long shot to begin with, but Goodell made it painfully clear that there’s zero interest in even pretending to take them seriously. A few hours after the city submitted the revised plan, he told Schaaf that league officials had reviewed it in its entirety (emphasis mine):
“The material that we reviewed earlier today ... confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time and in that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable time frame and free of major contingencies.... Despite all of these efforts, ours and yours, we have not yet identified a viable solution. It is disappointing to me and our clubs to have come to that conclusion.”
The league’s qualms are more so with the old Coliseum in Oakland, rather than the city itself. But the revised stadium proposal holds only a $200 million commitment in public money, rather than the $750 million from Las Vegas—and requiring the team and league to pay for more of their own stadium is, apparently and sadly unsurprisingly, far too much to ask. It’s worth noting that the combination of the relocation fee and the private financing secured for the new Las Vegas stadium comes to $1.5 billion, which is hundreds of millions of dollars more than the entire Oakland proposal. But the NFL has seemingly made up its mind about where that money will be spent, and it won’t be in Oakland.