In 2014, NFL briefly contemplated moving Raiders to St. Louis

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As the NFL pursued its obsession to move the Rams to Los Angeles (and to conceal any evidence pointing to that reality for as long as possible), it considered a consolation prize for St. Louis.

Via documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding the lawsuit filed after the Rams left Missouri, the league did indeed consider, albeit briefly, moving the Raiders to St. Louis.

At a meeting in November 2014, there was “talk” of the Raiders making the move “with restructured ownership, a brand makeover and a commitment to a ‘special diversity initiative.'” That information came from Commissioner Roger Goodell’s personal copy of the agenda for the meeting in question.

Although the possibility “went nowhere,” it suggests that the league does indeed have unresolved concerns about the Raiders. Recent issues underscore that reality.

There’s another reality that has sparked plenty of speculation regarding the future of the Raiders. Carol Davis inherited the team after Al Davis died in 2011. When she passes, a major estate tax obligation will arise. If Mark doesn’t have the cash to pay it and/or can’t raise the required amount by selling a portion of the family’s equity in the team, he’ll have to sell controlling interest in the franchise.

That’s not unprecedented. The Dolphins were sold by the family of Joe Robbie and the Commanders were sold by the family of Jack Kent Cooke due directly to estate-tax obligations.

Franchise values are skyrocketing. The Broncos are expected to sell for at least $5 billion. What are the Raiders worth, especially in their new home of Las Vegas? Is it $7 billion? Is it $8 billion? How about $10 billion?

It’s a critical question that could ultimately result in Mark Davis being forced to sell. Based on the new report from the Post-Dispatch, it looks like the league has already considered the possibility of moving forward at some point without Mark Davis in charge of the Raiders.

33 responses to “In 2014, NFL briefly contemplated moving Raiders to St. Louis

  1. Maybe St. Louis can just shut up. That would solve all of this. Stop trying to grab for money.

  2. Mark isn’t as vulnerable now that he has a new stadium, but yeah that was the leverage the league was trying to use to force him out, and a lot of people don’t believe it. That’s why the league kept the Raiders from moving back to L.A. against their own financial best interest- they knew Mark couldn’t afford to build a stadium on his own and wouldn’t get public money in Oakland. The league was hoping to squeeze Mark into selling the team to somebody who cared more about making money and less about football. Also very interesting that the league thought the team who single-handedly sparked the sports apparel craze needed a “brand makeover.” Sounds more like the league wanted to destroy the Raiders than simply move them.

  3. Strange how the estate tax has had such an effect on NFL franchises. It could rescue the Raiders from Mark Davis, while in DC, it is the reason fans in this city have been cursed with Dan Snyder for two and a half decades and counting. What a different 25 years it would have been had Jack Kent Cooke structured things differently to allow his son (or anyone else) to take over when he was gone. With skyrocketing franchise values and fewer people having the cash to afford those hits, we are probably heading for more corporate ownership of franchises in the future. I doubt that will be a positive development for fans. Packer fans may have really lucked out with the unique ownership model they have to lessen corporate control.

  4. And before the Rams came there, they tried for the Patriots from New England.

    STL doesn’t have any problem trying to poach teams from other cities. Did it twice and tried for a third time.

    It’s only when a team leaves them, that they start crying.

  5. Also gotta add, aren’t we burying the lede here, that the league considered wresting control of a franchise away from one of their “partners” who had done absolutely nothing wrong? They wanted to move a team to punish the son of an owner they supposedly hated because… he moved his team? The more time passes the more it looks like the other owners had a far more personal problem with Al Davis than where he wanted his team located.

  6. I’m not a big fan of Davis, but I’d love it if he prospered while Kroenke, Goodell, Jones, Mara, et.al., went down in flames. People should not be allowed to prosper by lying, especially when the lies do so much harm to so many others.

  7. Puh-leeeeeease! The Raiders are doing just fine and are turning things around with Mark at the helm.

  8. The league is full of maniacal plans. What happenes in Dallas when Jerry Jones passes or Stan Koenke? There are very few individual owners that are the face of their team that have been with it since the beginning (albeit as a kid in Mark’s case). The Davis family are the Raiders.

  9. Maybe the league should start managing their end instead of meddling with who owns what and where !! They’re still trying to oust Mark Davis because of the good old boys club !!
    LET IT GO GOODELL !!

  10. Raiders only win in drama! Off and on the field they’re a train wreck

  11. Everyone in CA knows L.A. is a Raider town. It’s not by accident that when the Raiders or 9ERS play in L.A. their fan bases take over the stadium.

    The wrong teams are in LA and they will continually have issues building a fan base. The 9ERS and Raiders own that market

  12. St. Louis had and lost TWO NFL teams. Surely there are other cities that would support an NFL team.

  13. Estate taxes don’t just affect billionaires. Imagine working your whole life to leave something for you kids and they can’t afford to keep it.

  14. People forget, Los Angeles lost two NFL Teams and without a rich guy building a stadium there, they still wouldn’t have a team. The NFL wants every fan to be loyal, except they don’t show loyalty back. Those are the facts

  15. How ironic the Rams beat the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at the stadium built on the Hollywood Park site in Inglewood. Another of Stan Kroenke’s sports properties, by the way, is the St. Louis Blues’ next opponent in the NHL playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche (who share Ball Arena in Denver with the NBA’s Nuggets). Games 3, 4 & 6 will be at Enterprise Center in St. Louis

  16. Hope this means Mark can sue the NFL and Goodell for everything they’re worth.

  17. Totally don’t understand how estate taxes work.
    Why didn’t Carol Davis face estate taxes when she inherited the team from her husband. Why wasn’t Jeanie Buss subject to estate taxes when inheriting the Lakers from her father?

  18. smurfm69 says:
    May 14, 2022 at 1:44 pm
    St. Louis had and lost TWO NFL teams. Surely there are other cities that would support an NFL team.
    —————————-

    Technically 4, if you want to count the pre AFL-NFL merger era. And 2 NBA franchises, and an ABA franchise.

    STL is a great baseball town and afaik the Blues are well supported, but the fundamental problem no matter the situation is this:

    It just isn’t big enough to support 2 NFL franchises and the Chiefs will always be the top team in that market.

  19. “Why didn’t Carol Davis face estate taxes when she inherited the team from her husband. Why wasn’t Jeanie Buss subject to estate taxes when inheriting the Lakers from her father?”

    Because the wealthy write the laws. The rest of us don’t matter. Welcome to America in the 21st century. Bought and paid for.

  20. chickenbiscuit says:
    May 14, 2022 at 1:49 pm
    Estate taxes don’t just affect billionaires. Imagine working your whole life to leave something for you kids and they can’t afford to keep it.
    ————————
    Many of us are having a hard time imagining owning enough that it would be a problem.

  21. HurtsToReadComments says:
    May 14, 2022 at 12:49 pm
    Raiders only win in drama! Off and on the field they’re a train wreck

    Haters gonna hate!

  22. mackcarrington says:
    May 14, 2022 at 3:09 pm
    Totally don’t understand how estate taxes work.
    Why didn’t Carol Davis face estate taxes when she inherited the team from her husband. Why wasn’t Jeanie Buss subject to estate taxes when inheriting the Lakers from her father?
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Dr. Buss put money away to enable his six kids to be able to pay the inheritance tax. It was rumored that Al Davis had a succession plan that enabled his only child and his wife to pay the inheritance tax.

  23. The NFL hasn’t been exactly friendly to St Louis, the reason the Cardinals moved there from Chicago was to keep the AFL from planting the flag there (the Vikings were originally to be in the AFL, and the NFL poached them, along with putting a franchise in Dallas, where one had previously failed and moved to Baltimore, to compete with Lamar Hunt’s AFL Flagship team (Dallas Texans, later KC Chiefs) .
    The Cardinals were always a hot mess, firing their only winning coach (Don Coryell) and always threatening to move. Some pundit put out a sign during one of Bidwill’s outburts”
    “St Louis will support a winner! Ask 3 Million baseball fans” You alienate your fans, field a poor product, and keep threatening to move, they quit buying tickets and lose interest in your team.

    I quit attending NFL games in 2015, I’ve found small college ball a lot more entertaining and without the political preaching and posturing. My pro sports fix is fixed by the NHL…a lot more entertaining

  24. The minimum estate that would inheritance tax is somewhere around $10 Million.

  25. As a Denver fan going through a transition of ownership from Mr. B to most likely a corporate interest, instead of keeping it in the family as he intended, I support Mark Davis in keeping the Raiders relevant however he needs to. I see this as family versus profit motive… and yes the Packers are the shining example of how to run an entertainment franchise.

  26. This obviously proves another lie. Goodell and Grubman said at the end of the process that STL didn’t have an actionable stadium plan. If that were the case, why even consider moving the Raiders to STL?

  27. Maybe St. Louis can just shut up. That would solve all of this. Stop trying to grab for money.

    STL already got $790 mm. What you’re reading about is some of the discovery from the case that was released via Sunshine law on Friday.

  28. If these reports about the raiders financial issues and the misconduct allegations are true, I could definitely see the league try to force Davis out. The league and some of the owners haven’t forgiven or forgotten the lawsuits and legal headaches that Al caused them.

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