Did Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis Lie About Coliseum Lease, Las Vegas Decision, At NFL Meeting?
After his NFL organization was awarded the right to relocate to Las Vegas, Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis stepped up to the press conference podium to speak. In the process of throwing Oakland politicians under the bus, Mr. Davis also manufactured a story regarding when and why he decided to relocate to Sin City.
This is what Mr. Davis said at Monday’s press conference, and in response to this question:
Q: Number two, when did this turn for you, that you started to say Las Vegas is where I’m going to go?
Davis: I believe it turned during the L.A. part where, before the vote for Los Angeles, Oakland had an opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league. They came in with a five-page piece of paper that had nothing to do with anything. They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the vote, then to come back and they would have all the leverage. We lost the vote, we came back to Oakland, we negotiated a one-year lease with two years of options and talked about getting together and talking about a long-term future together. A week later I got a call from one of the county board of supervisors telling me: ‘Mark, I’m sorry but the lease that we just negotiated, the three years of leases, are not going to be valid, and we’re going to raise the rent three times on you.’ At that point we ended up signing that lease anyway, but then decided we had to start looking elsewhere to see if we could find a long-term solution.
That is actually not so.
According to a document uploaded to the website Scribd on January 29th 2016 by Aubrey Clerkin, who was then with KSNV-TV as Digital Executive Producer and is now with CBS-3 Philadelphia as a news producer, in January of 2016, Oakland Raiders officials planned to meet with UNLV President Len Jessup and Las Vegas Sands representatives to look at a site the university bought on Tropicana Avenue near I-15. This is what the first three paragraphs of the UNLV document read:
I have been notified that the Las Vegas Sands plans to publicly announce its support for a new special events stadium in Southern Nevada and they believe the 42 acres of land on Tropicana Avenue that UNLV recently purchased is a prime location….Correspondingly, the Sands leadership team let us know that officials from the Oakland Raiders are scheduled to travel to Las Vegas and tour locations around the valley for a potential new home and they have asked us to meet them at our 42‐acre site on Friday morning to answer questions about that site.
By contrast, the Raiders signed the Oakland Coliseum Lease Extension April 7, 2016 – the date after which Mark Davis claimed “we had to start looking elsewhere to see if we could find a long-term solution” during his speech at the NFL Annual Meeting. In other words, the Oakland Raiders had already decided that their “long-term solution” was not in Oakland, but in Las Vegas, and did so at least four months before Mark Davis signed the Oakland Coliseum Lease Extension.
Las Vegas political blogger John Ralston wrote a post entitled “Sands to partner with UNLV on stadium, hope to bring Raiders here” and based on the Clerkin document. The only other media publication to find the Clerkin document was the blog Deadspin. Thus, the news that the Raiders were seeking a new home outside of Oakland was not at all widely known, yet four months later Davis signed the lease extention, then claimed that the Raiders “ decided we had to start looking elsewhere to see if we could find a long-term solution”.
Yeah. Right. Start looking? The Raiders were already looking, and settled on Las Vegas months earlier.
Another Good Faith Dealing Problem For The Oakland Raiders
This points to an overall problem of not dealing in good faith on the part of Mark Davis. In this case, first, he did not reveal his true intentions of seeking team relocation to Oakland Officials. Second, he signed a lease with the Oakland Coliseum and stated the intent to work toward a new stadium, even as his actions proved he didn’t want to plan for a new stadium in Oakland. There’s more, so subscribe to Zennie62 on YouTube, and stay tuned.