An Oakland-based group wants to create the NFL's first Black-owned franchise, and that proposal is expected to land at league headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
With the Raiders having relocated this year to Las Vegas, Oakland is again without a franchise, just as it was during the Raiders' tenure in Los Angeles from 1982-94.
So begins a daunting quest by the African-American Sports & Entertainment Committee, which will file an application with the NFL on Tuesday to create a Black-owned franchise among a privately financed group seeking to play at the Oakland Coliseum, as reported by SFGate.com.
A NFL spokesman did not immediately return comment.
It is unknown who specifically would comprise that Oakland group's ownership and its capacity to cover a NFL expansion cost that easily could surpass a $1 billion.
"It would just be such a historic opportunity, the NFL wanting to support the African-American community and an opportunity for economic equity," Ray Bobbitt, an Oakland business owner, told SFGate about his group's proposal. "...This is an opportunity for an entire community to establish an economic vehicle for itself and be self-sustaining."
Bobbitt led a fan group called "We Stand With Oakland" in 2018 that unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Raiders' move to Vegas. He did not respond to a phone message Monday seeking comment from this news organization.
The NFL last expanded in 2002 with the Houston Texans' debut, following their $900 million entry fee in 1999. The next newest teams involved the 1999 reincarnation of the Cleveland Browns and the '95 arrival of the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Whereas Cleveland went three years without a team and Houston had a five-year wait, most recently Los Angeles endured a 1995-2015 drought until the Rams and Chargers moved back in 2016.
When asked about a potential franchise expanding to Toronto, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in February at his state-of-the-league press conference: "A stadium that is up to NFL standards is going to be a certain requirement. That is going to be an important element. It's going to have to be focused on. It's not enough to just have a great city, which you have. You have to have the facility also."
The Oakland Coliseum site could be in ownership flux, as the Oakland City Council is to begin negotiations on selling the city's half of the stadium site to the A's, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Two months ago, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Raiders in which Oakland tried to recover financial losses related to the team's move.