On Monday, NFL owners approved the Oakland Raiders’ plans to move to Las Vegas by a 31-1 vote. (Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was the lone dissenter.)
The team will play at least the next two seasons in Oakland as a $1.9 billion stadium is constructed in Las Vegas. Multiple outlets report that $750 million of stadium project funds are coming from public moneys. (Some, though not all of it, will come from a new hotel tax.)
Renowned New York-based sports radio host Mike Francesa took great umbrage with this, alleging that the NFL and the Raiders essentially pulled off a shake down, pitting Oakland against Las Vegas to see who would put up the most money.
“They shake the city down,” Francesa said. “If the city doesn’t cough up the money, they move. They find a city they can shake down. That’s how it works.”
It is a note Francesa has sounded before, most recently with the San Diego Chargers’ move to Los Angeles. The sports radio icon believes that municipalities shouldn’t cough up so much as a nickel to build a stadium for a billionaire football owner — particularly at a time when so many city and state budgets are already stretched thin.
This is the old ‘I’ll use you against the next guy. And if I can get the next guy to ante up, screw you.’ That’s how the NFL does its business. They might as well wear a mask when they do it. It is offensive. And what they’re doing is they’re taking the money out of the backs, and out of the hides of people who can’t afford it. That this happens in any city is utter nonsense.
Francesa added, “The NFL should be embarrassed.”
Listen above, via WFAN.
[image via screengrab]
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