Flags wave outside of Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.

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Oakland Files Federal Lawsuit Against The Raiders And NFL

Doug Sovern
December 11, 2018 - 3:50 pm

Oakland officials are following through on a promise and taking the Raiders and the National Football League to court over the football team's planned move to Las Vegas. 

It's not a Hail Mary to try to keep the team, but it is a play for some big bucks.

City Attorney Barbara Parker, working with two outside firms, announced the filing of a federal antitrust suit against the NFL and all of its teams on Tuesday.

"The Raiders illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers and dedicated fans with the bill,” a statement from Parker said. “The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”

The lawsuit accuses the league of orchestrating an illegal boycott of Oakland, and violating its own rules for relocating teams. It seeks damages to cover money Oakland has spent on the Raiders over the years, which would be tripled under antitrust law.

The lead attorney on the lawsuit is Jim Quinn from Berg & Androphy, who has previously sued the NFL. 

“The NFL has a long history of misusing its tremendous market power in violation of antitrust laws,” Quinn said in a statement. “This time the NFL defendants violated their own bylaws in their effort to cash in on the Raiders’ move.  Oakland is standing up to this unlawful and disloyal treatment by the league owners.”

The City Council approved this suit a few months back, and Raiders owner Mark Davis has threatened to leave town sooner than planned. However, with their new stadium in Las Vegas not scheduled to be ready until the 2020 season, it's unclear where the team could play next year.

The city may also be seeking to take the name and the logo of the team for Oakland, but that's not something Oakland would be likely to win in court.

Neither the team nor the league has responded to KCBS Radio's inquiries. 

Written by Brian Krans.