On the cold Monday morning of Jan. 21, 2013, the city of Sacramento and its mayor, Kevin Johnson, awoke to reports that the Maloofs had agreed to sell the Kings to a group from Seattle that would relocate the franchise.
By the afternoon, Johnson had gone to the mattresses, essentially declaring war against the Maloofs and the Seattle group. KJ and Sacramento won the fight, and a new arena taking shape on K Street will change downtown forever.
So with the Raiders and the NFL seriously threatening to move the team to Los Angeles for a second time since 1982, why isn’t the city of Oakland and the county of Alameda doing all they can – and frantically – to save the Raiders?
Where’s the fight, the commitment by Oakland to keep the Raiders, as St. Louis and San Diego are doing to keep the Rams and Chargers from moving to Los Angeles?
Why hasn’t the city and county come up with a counter attack instead of watching with Raider Nation to see what happens next?
Perhaps it’s because Oakland is done with the Raiders. Taxpayers still are on the hook for as much as $20 million a year, reportedly until 2026, for the renovations in the mid-1990s that lured the team back to Oakland and created Mount Davis, which ruined the A’s beautiful ballpark.
Raiders owner Mark Davis says he’s willing to spend $500 million, but he wants the city and county to pay the other $400 million to build a new stadium on the existing site.
Oakland wants to keep the Raiders, but with a need for more police, schools and hospitals, the city and county have little to offer. “We don’t have $400 million lying around,” Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said last week.
Just as keeping the Kings was the right move for Sacramento, Oakland doing little to keep the Raiders makes sense.
Victor Contreras: (916) 326-5527, @sacbeevictor
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- WORTH REPEATING: “I’m trying all I can do to keep this team in Oakland, OK? I don’t know what to do, I really don’t know.” – Raiders owner Mark Davis during last week’s NFL meetings
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