A coffee-table book could be made, at this rate, featuring politicians’ statements after an NFL franchise relocated from their cities. Disappointment. Some version of “we, the city, did what we could.” At times, anger.
That it’s become so routine is a testament to the 15 months it’s been in the NFL.
Libby Schaaf joined the book Monday.
The Oakland mayor expressed her dissatisfaction with a 31-1 NFL owner vote in Phoenix. It approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, which will be executed once a stadium becomes available at the latter. The Raiders are scheduled to continue at the Oakland Coliseum in the interim.
Bay Area fans, she said, “deserved better.”
“I am disappointed that the Raiders and the NFL chose Las Vegas over Oakland when we had a fully-financed, shovel-ready stadium project that would have the kept the Raiders in Oakland where they were born and raised,” the statement read.
“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.
“As a lifelong Oaklander, my heart aches today for Raider Nation. These are the most committed and passionate fans any city or team could hope to have. They deserved better.”
Indeed, this was the latest mayoral statement in a string of NFL franchise relocations.
Here was St. Louis on Jan. 12, 2016, after losing the Rams to Los Angeles.
“The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium,” Mayor Francis Slay said. “I am proud of our effort and what St. Louis was able to accomplish in an extraordinarily short period of time. I thank everyone who worked so diligently on this project, especially the Governor’s Task Force.
“In the meantime, we need to increase our focus on the region’s hospitality industry — conventions, tourism and amateur sports. These events and the hotels and restaurants that support them put thousands of City and County residents to work in good jobs. St. Louis is great place to live and build a business — with or without NFL football.”
Here was San Diego on Jan. 12, 2017, after losing the Chargers to Los Angeles. (Or did they?)
“At the end of the day, Dean Spanos was never willing to work with us on a stadium solution and demanded a lot more money than we could have ever agreed to,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We live in a great city and we will move forward. San Diego didn’t lose the Chargers, the Chargers lost San Diego.”
There is another commonality between such statements.
None paint a full picture of the events precipitating the NFL’s departure.