Just Vegas Baby: Is This Last Year in Oakland for Raiders?

Oakland Raiders Las Vegas stadium

Editor’s Note: The team at Silver and Black Today continues to expand as we welcome our latest staff writer, Elias Trejo. Trejo has extensive experience covering Raider Nation, including writing about the team for Bleacher Report, Raider Nation Times and AskMen.com.

The offseason for the Raiders has been one to remember and one to forget. It started with the return of coach Jon Gruden and ended with the shocking trade of Khalil Mack. The highs and lows of the offseason have been unlike any other, and it appears like the low is about to get lower. 2018 could also be the last year the Raiders play in Oakland.

The Raiders were expected to relocate to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season when their new $1.8 billion stadium is complete. Gruden returned to the Raiders in hopes of delivering a Super Bowl title before the team left for Sin City. However, after recent news that the City of Oakland has decided to move forward with a lawsuit, it could end the Raiders’ run in Oakland that started in 1960 — a year sooner than expected.

The effort started with angry fans upset about the relocation. There was little interest in moving forward by many, including from City Councilman Larry Reid, whose district is home of the Raiders. However, things changed when three law firms outside of the Bay Area offered to handle the lawsuit and not charge the city upfront.

The $500 million lawsuit was only appealing to the City of Oakland as long as it didn’t have to pay the hefty legal fees. The Raiders are working on a lease with the Coliseum Authority for next year, and possibly the year after, but the lawsuit will likely sink those plans.

Coliseum Director Scott McKibben recently told the San Francisco Chronicle: “They (Raiders) told me we might as well take the contract and rip it up.”

That could mean the Raiders’ arrival in Las Vegas might be sooner than expected. It means Oakland fans who still support the team in the Bay Area could be the injured party that ends up paying the price for the lawsuit. It’s never a good sign when the City won’t put up its own money for a lawsuit that could net it close to $500 million.

This could also be a great PR move for the attorneys, but you have to question why no local attorneys would jump to take the case. Is this just a move to score points for local politicians who already have egg on their face from the Raiders’ decision to relocate? Does this mean the Las Vegas Raiders will officially become a thing in 2019? It appears we are going to find out sooner than later.