OAKLAND — Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis continues to throw the idea around that he wants to move his NFL franchise to Sin City. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has now chimed in that she is confident that the Raiders will eventually call Las Vegas home unless the deal is mismanaged, according to a report by ESPN.
“The Raiders will come if Nevada handles this properly,” Goodman told ESPN Radio’s Capital Games podcast on Tuesday. “Mark Davis has assured us that Las Vegas is not getting played in a Raiders Stadium deal. I know we will have a team.”
Davis met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee on April 28 and committed $500 million of his own money towards the construction of a $1.4 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium.
The Sands and partnering business Majestic Realty have pledged an additional $150 million, leaving roughly $750 million for Nevada taxpayers to attribute for. On April 28, backers of the idea said that they would ask for a special session of the Nevada Legislature in August to approve diverting some room-tax funds for the stadium. The legislature is not scheduled to meet again until 2017.
If the state of Nevada approves the stadium deal, it would then go back to the NFL to approve the move from Oakland to Nevada. At least 24 NFL Owners would have to approve the relocation.
The Raiders franchise has already had a few relocations in their history. In 1982, the team moved from Oakland to Los Angeles, after the late Al Davis could not reach a deal to make improvements to the stadium they were playing in (The Oakland Coliseum). While in Los Angeles, the Raiders played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Al Davis worked to get a deal done with many surrounding cities to build a new stadium with up-to-date features, but an agreement was never reached. In 1995, Davis moved the team back to Oakland after the city spent $220 million in stadium renovations to the Oakland Coliseum. Now, once again, a stadium deal sits at the forefront in what seems like a very realistic move to Las Vegas.
A deal like this is most likely still a few years away, and if the San Diego Chargers decline to move to Los Angeles next year, the Raiders would then have the option to forgo the plan in Vegas and move back down to L.A.
For now, the city of Oakland still has a fighting chance if they decide to comply with Davis’ desire to build a new stadium.