Oakland city leaders 'disappointed' by Raiders' planned move to Las Vegas

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- Moments after the NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders would be moving to Las Vegas, Mayor Libby Schaaf held a press conference to say how disappointed she was in the decision.

"I'm very sad today for the Raider Nation," a visibly angry Schaaf said. "There are the most dedicated, passionate, good hearted fans that any city could be proud of to call theirs. That's what makes my heart so heavy." 

The owners' vote came after Schaaf made public a letter she had hand-delivered to National Football League owners pleading with them to keep the Raiders in Oakland and not approve the team's plan to move to Las Vegas.

During her press conference, Schaaf said the city had a viable project plan on the table to build a new stadium to meet the Raiders' demands.

"We had a fully financed, shovel ready project that was a public-private partnership," she said. "We're very disappointed that was not selected.

City Council President Larry Reid said he was disappointed and frustrated by the decision to move the team to Las Vegas.

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"We had a fully funded agreement that would have allowed us to keep the Raiders in the city of Oakland," he said. "And the NFL chose not to" accept it.

Mayor Schaaf said she did not regret how the city handled the negotiations with the Raiders.

"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," she said in a written statement.

Schaaf said in her letter that the owners' vote on the issue "may be one of the most critical decisions in the National Football League's history."

Schaaf asked the owners "to consider deeply the lasting impact your choice will have on the future and legacy of the broader NFL community" and said their vote will have a big impact on Oakland, where the Raiders were formed back in 1960.

Schaaf said when city of Oakland and Alameda County officials, who oversee the Oakland Coliseum complex, signed a lease extension agreement with the Raiders last spring it was their understanding that the Raiders would continue negotiating with them on a deal to build a new football stadium in Oakland "yet since that time the Raiders have refused to engage or honor this intent."

The mayor said Oakland and Alameda County officials "offer a more financially sound and certain stadium project than Las Vegas."

Schaaf said the city and county plan, which is backed by an investment group headed by former San Francisco 49er star Ronnie Lott and the Fortress Investment Group of New York, calls for building a $1.3 billion stadium on a 55-acre site on the north side of the Coliseum complex.

Schaaf told NFL owners that, "This will be the first time ever where the NFL has abandoned an existing market which is bringing a fully-financed new stadium to the table."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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