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Law

Supreme Court Dismisses Oakland’s Suit Against NFL

  • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Oakland's appeal of a lower court ruling.
  • Oakland was seeking $240 million in damages over the Raiders' relocation.
Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the NFL and its teams won’t have to compensate Oakland for losing the Raiders in 2020.

Oakland was seeking $240 million in damages after the storied franchise was allowed to move from Oakland to Las Vegas – which the city claims violated federal antitrust law. But on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the city’s appeal of a lower court ruling without comment. 

The Raiders’ former home city sued the league and its 32 teams in 2018. The Miami Dolphins were the only team not to approve the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas.

The city claimed the NFL restricted the ability of Oakland “and other host cities to maintain and sponsor an NFL club at competitive prices.”

  • Oakland claims the league sent the Raiders to Vegas after the city refused to meet the league’s “exorbitant” demand for public money to build a new stadium.
  • The compensation demand was for lost tax revenue and capital invested in the Oakland Coliseum.

In December 2021, a panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Oakland, claiming the “city’s damages are highly speculative and would be exceedingly difficult to calculate.” 

In March, Oakland’s attorneys appealed to the Supreme Court.

Vegas Value

The Raiders have paid off their $325 million relocation fee and are reportedly valued at $6.5 billion. The team, which paid $1.9 billion for Allegiant Stadium, has $1.3 billion in debt.

Despite having the third-lowest capacity in the NFL at 65,000, the team led the NFL with $119 million in net gate revenue in 2021, excluding luxury suites.

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