On Monday NFL owners voted to allow the Raiders to move to Las Vegas. So what becomes of Oakland's Coliseum complex and the city itself, once the Raiders depart?
Stanford economics professor, Roger Noll, who began studying team moves more than four decades ago, says this about teams coming or going.
"The bad news is, when you get a team it doesn't help and the good news is, when it leaves, it doesn't hurt because they have, essentially, no economic impact. And that's especially true for a football team," said Professor Noll.
"It is important that we grieve because this is a tremendous loss. But, economically, it is probably in the best interests of Oakland," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. The Mayor said that the City of Oakland confirmed that by evaluating the loss of one or more teams.
"One of those scenarios is no sports facilities at all. On pure economic terms—no, Oakland will not suffer because the Raiders left. I do think we will suffer in other ways," said Mayor Schaaf.
Study after study has shown that Oaklanders are far, far more willing to spend more tax money on fixing homelessness, housing and rent costs, jobs and failing infrastructure even more than crime.
"And they actually are unwilling to cut any of the many things we listed with one exception and that was efforts to keep the sports teams," said the Mayor.
"I think sports teams, in general, offer up identity, right? And, I think that's what it really is, but as far as the actual influence on the economy, I don't know how much it really influences on there. I don't think it's as much as maybe what the perception is," said Ben Rivera of East Bay Residents for Responsible Development.
While the Jolly Rogers Diner makes a lot of money on game days, owner A.J. Erakat says, including pre-season, that's only eight to 10 games each year. "Hopefully, the City of Oakland can now give something for the A's and redevelop that entire area kind of like they did over there in San Francisco for the Giants many years ago," said Mr. Erakat.
That's especially true with its rapid transit, rail, highway and nearby airport connections. "To have that much acreage in a thriving city like Oakland is an incredible opportunity," said the Mayor.
Many disappointed fans now agree. "You want to take your ball and go somewhere else and play? That's fine.
We don't need you here. We're gonna do something bigger and better and you're gonna coma back later and say, 'Hey, we shouldn't have left in the first place, which they did once already,' said Raider Fan Scott Cannon. "
The future of Las Vegas is much worse than the future of Oakland," says Stanford economist Noll.