SBJ/March 13 - 19, 2000/No Topic Name

Raiders still claim financial leverage in effort to bolt Oakland

Despite a Superior Court ruling that keeps the Raiders in Oakland until 2010, a team attorney indicated that the Raiders may still be able to get out of the lease at Network Associates Coliseum.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Joe Gray last week agreed with Oakland city and Alameda County officials who argued that the Raiders could not rescind the lease. However, the judge also ruled that the Raiders could sue the city and county for damages, which the Raiders claim to be as high as $850 million.

"Faced with $850 million of liability and their governmental immunity waived, the city and county may decide that it is smarter to voluntarily allow the Raiders to rescind the agreement," said Raiders attorney Ken Hausman.

Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority officials were not immediately available for comment.

The Raiders have alleged that they were fraudulently induced by city and county officials, who falsely told them the stadium was sold out, to sign the long-term lease. Attorneys for the city and county have disputed those charges.

Hausman said the $850 million damage number represents the lost revenue in ticket and suite sales as well as the lost value of the Raider franchise that resulted from the alleged fraud.

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