OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland is fighting back. Tuesday the city announced it was suing the Raiders and the NFL to recover damages from the team's move to Las Vegas.
The suit claims that Oakland never had a chance despite bending over backward to try to convince Raiders' owner Mark Davis to stay.
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When the Raiders leave Oakland the city will lose revenue and taxpayers will be left with an $80 million stadium debt from 1995, back when the team moved from Los Angeles.
"The city of Oakland has made some huge investments in the Raiders over the years and we're going to try to get that investment back," said Jim Quinn, lead attorney of Berg and Androphy.
The suit argues the NFL and team owners acted in concert with Raiders owner Mark Davis to disregard the city's efforts to keep the team in Oakland. It's what fan groups like "Forever Oakland" have argued.
"Oakland never had a chance. As soon as Al Davis died, probably a week after, from people I know from the inside, Mark Davis was talking to Roger Goodell about going to Los Angeles with his dad's body still warm in the ground," said "Bauce" a member of the fan group "Forever Oakland."
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Goodell is the Commissioner of the NFL.
In 1984 a California Federal Court forced the NFL to adopt "relocation policies" to make sure teams follow very specific rules when determining if they should move to a new city.
"How's the fan base, are you making money, what's the size of the market? In each instance allowing Oakland to move to Las Vegas violated those criteria," added Quinn.
Oakland, he says, came up with the offer that Davis wanted, but in the end was never considered.
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The team did not respond to the lawsuit but Davis had said he would not sign a lease extension to play the 2020 season in Oakland if a suit was filed. The Raiders' new Las Vegas stadium may not be completed by then.
"What we want is not for the team to stay. If they want to go to Las Vegas, the name, the colors, the history stays here," expressed "Bauce."
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Oakland files lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL