Oakland Business Group Attempting to Become NFL’s First Black-Owned Team

There has been a proposal sent to the National Football League to consider bringing a professional football team back to Oakland. If the proposal is accepted, it would put in place the first Black-owned team in the NFL, according to SFGate.

With the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, there is no longer a professional team in Oakland. The African-American Sports & Entertainment Committee, a Black business development group, is looking to bring an NFL franchise back to Oakland. Earlier this week, the group sent a letter of intent to file a formal application with the NFL.

The Raiders had moved to Los Angeles at the start of the 1982 season but moved back to Oakland in 1994 when renovations were made to the Oakland Coliseum. They are slated to play in Las Vegas this upcoming season. Their move has again left Oakland without an NFL team.

Based on a letter that was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, which has been reviewed by SFGATE, the Black-owned team would plan a sports stadium complex at the site of the Oakland Coliseum. The business group will not seek out government funds and intends the development to be a “privately financed, developed, and operated endeavor.”

“It would just be such a historic opportunity, the NFL wanting to support the African American community and an opportunity for economic equity,” Oakland business owner Ray Bobbitt, who is part of the African-American Sports & Entertainment Committee, told SFGATE. “This is an opportunity for an entire community to establish an economic vehicle for itself and be self-sustaining.”

“A lot of people in that community have been impacted by the loss of two of our sports teams,” said Bobbitt, who co-owns a prominent nightlife venue in San Francisco as well as a commercial facility management and event production company in Oakland. “Our proposal is a unique one because it has an economic component and educational component and we want it to be one of the anchors for that site.”

According to the proposed plan, it will also heavily focus on community, with the intention to incorporate a Black college or university satellite program in sports and “entertainment management, sports management, and police science.” A sports and entertainment museum is also a part of the stadium plan, showcasing Oakland’s history of arts, sports, and entertainment. Bobbitt emphasized that the committee’s proposal would also be in alignment with helping the Oakland A’s stay in town.