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Raiders want top court to dismiss lawsuit over Las Vegas move

Updated June 29, 2022 - 11:17 am

The NFL and the Raiders are asking the Supreme Court to dismiss a 2018 anti-trust lawsuit by the City of Oakland against the Raiders and the NFL over the club’s move to Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that, on Monday, the NFL’s lawyers at Covington & Burling and attorneys for the Raiders at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer defended a December 2021 opinion by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the dismissal of Oakland’s lawsuit.

In December 2021, an appeals court sided with a previous ruling by a District Court to dismiss the lawsuit. A Ninth Circuit Court panel upheld the original decision, citing Oakland’s claims that the NFL violated the Sherman Act were overly speculative. The San Francisco-based court voted 3-0 to reject Oakland’s claims.

A year after the Raiders were granted approval from the league to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, the city of Oakland sued both the team and the NFL for damages, including lost revenue and taxpayer money.

Related: Raiders lawsuits, complaints since 2013

Part of Oakland’s original argument was that partnering with the Raiders and NFL on a new local stadium would have been an overpay and, thus, caused the city harm. But the court ruled that, because Oakland didn’t actually pay an artificially inflated price, its argument of potential harm was speculative.

“We do not know whether the city would have retained an NFL team, whether that team would have been the Raiders or another team, where that team would have played, or what price the city would have paid for the privilege of having an NFL team,” Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Wallace Tashima wrote in the panel’s summary. “Because we do not know whether the city would have retained the Raiders, we cannot know whether it would have avoided the harm it alleges.”

The lawsuit was dismissed by a District Court in May 2021.

In Monday’s filing, Reuters reported that attorneys for the league and Raiders told the Supreme Court that the 9th Circuit “correctly concluded that [the] alleged injury to petitioner was both indirect and too speculative.” The attorneys said Oakland failed to show that it would have kept the Raiders in the city, or acquired another team, in a competitive market.

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