Raiders to Vegas: Reactions from Mark Davis, Libby Schaaf and Others

Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis reacts before a NFL International Series game against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis reacts before a NFL International Series game against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Reaction to the approved relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas from Mark Davis, Libby Schaaf and others.

It’s official. The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, beginning in the 2019 season. They will play out the string at the Oakland Coliseum in 2017 and 2018. They will then pack their bags and sojourn eastward to the neon lights and questionable decisions of Sin City.

The league voted today 31-1 to approve the move, with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross the only dissenting vote. His motives for voting no were seemingly pure in sentiment, as he said:

"“My position today was that we as owners and as a League owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted,” Ross’ statement said. “I want to wish Mark Davis and the Raiders organization the best in Las Vegas.”"

Imagine, wanting to actually keep the team in the community that supported them. Seems like a novel idea in this time of big money and big business. Which it is. Ross has property across from Oakland Coliseum and likely loses money with the Raiders moving.

When the Raiders were denied a move to Los Angeles, the city of Oakland raised their rent and Davis reportedly felt betrayed. Years of acrimonious negotiations between Davis, the city of Oakland and Mayor Libby Schaaf have now ended in the Raiders leaving.

Schaaf, for her part, is quite disappointed. After standing firm on her stance to refuse public money to subsidize a stadium, she made a very dedicated and public push to keep the Raiders in Oakland in the past week.

During her press conference, a visibly upset and frustrated Schaaf stated that Oakland did all they could in their most recent proposal. The group headed by former Raider Ronnie Lott and in partnership with the Fortress Investment Group propose to build a $1.3B stadium on the current coliseum complex.

"“We had a fully financed, shovel ready project that was a public-private partnership,” she said. “We’re very disappointed that was not selected.”“I’m very sad today for the Raider Nation,” a visibly angry Schaaf continued. “There are the most dedicated, passionate, good hearted fans that any city could be proud of to call theirs. That’s what makes my heart so heavy.”"

Schaaf is proud that her team’s negotiations with the Raiders were fair. She states in a written statement that she’s glad they didn’t capitulate to a need to choose between the Raiders and A’s.

"“I am proud that we stood firm in refusing to use public money to subsidize stadium construction and that we did not capitulate to their unreasonable and unnecessary demand that we choose between our football and baseball franchises,” Schaaf wrote. “As a lifelong Oaklander, my heart aches today for the Raider Nation. These are the most committed and passionate fans any city or team could hope to have.”"

Schaaf’s efforts were ultimately seen as too incomplete, too little, too late – and perhaps a little political:

Schaaf’s proposal and letter were riddled with issues, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and wasn’t really a viable plan to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

At least Schaaf took the high road shortly thereafter in this not-so-subtle shot at the Raiders:

Goodell laments the move of yet another franchise, yet a long-term home for the Raiders is necessary.

"“We never want to see a relocation of a franchise,” Roger Goodell said. “We needed to provide certainty and stability for the Raiders, as well as for the league.”"

Mark Davis is ecstatic. He gets his way. I hear he just renewed the lease on his 1996 Caravan and is even considering going full mullet or pompadour in lieu of his trademark bowl cut. Heady times for the man.

Hell, he’s even making pie-in-the-sky promises to try and keep things nice in Oakland until they leave. That’s a good plan because  he’s upset a lot of loyal, long-term fans. And some Oakland natives:

Davis got publicly embarrassed by the LA vote. The City of Oakland raised the rent at the Coliseum. It’s clear that Davis is now giddy to have some control back in his court.  It’s bittersweet, though, as Davis knows the deep roots the team has in the Bay Area.

"“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA,” Davis said. “We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff.”"

That’s some wishful thinking right there. Davis has angered and hurt a lot of people, and that isn’t going away. It’s going to be awkward at times over the next two years. Like an empty marriage held together for the sake of the kids. But Davis has an eye to the future, and excitement to get things going.

"“My father used to say the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,” Davis said during a post-vote news conference. “This gives us the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world, one that gives us the opportunity to achieve that greatness.”"

Good ‘ol Ian Rapport of NFL Network points out coaches are already on top of road trip temptations:

But at least one Raider legend knows the most loyal fans in sports follow their franchise:

Next: Relocation Reaction From Carr, Del Rio

At least now we have an answer — though not the one many wanted.