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TENSIONS ESCALATE IN OAKLAND IN LAWSUIT AGAINST RAIDERS
Published September 30, 1997
Oakland Alameda Coliseum authority officials filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Raiders charging them with interfering with a $17.5M naming-rights deal with UMAX Corp., according to Rick DelVecchio in a front-page story in the S.F. CHRONICLE. The dispute "is the most dramatic example of the deterioration of relations between the NFL team and East Bay officials." The Coliseum complaint accuses the Raiders of making "unreasonable objections to the name sale to extract more cash from the Coliseum." The Coliseum authority is seeking damages from the team "and a judgment on whether the Raiders have a right to break" their lease. Raiders attorney Joseph Alioto: "We are trying to work things out with them. ... We're not talking about leaving Oakland, but if they're trying to force us out of Oakland they're going about it the right way." Alioto said that the Raiders "aren't bluffing and will insist in the counterclaim that East Bay officials haven't fulfilled their end of the lease agreement" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/30). In San Jose, Frances Dinkelspiel reports that Raiders officials contend "they had been misled" by East Bay officials who told them in '95 that selling out the Coliseum "for Raiders games would be no problem." UMAX officials had no comment on the lawsuit and said they "still hope the name deal is viable" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/30).