What started as just an idea a few months ago, may be closer to reality, as the owner of the Oakland Raiders NFL team has discussed further moving his team to Las Vegas. Posing with fans behind a Las Vegas Raiders banner with black and silver coloring on Thursday, Mark Davis soon spoke about a commitment to a new stadium of $500 million in Las Vegas for the Raiders.
The Raiders owner seems to be serious about getting the other owners to allow the move from the city of Oakland to Las Vegas. Davis spoke in front of the stadium commission on Thursday pledging to move the team to the city of Las Vegas as well as offering $500 million to be used in the construction of the $1.4 billion stadium that would become the team’s new home.
During the meeting, Davis spoke about building on the legacy of his father Al Davis and giving a new stadium to the team that would compare to the teams of the NFL with deeper pockets. Davis stated he was not looking to use the city as a way of bargaining and mentioned that the team would have a lifetime commitment to Las Vegas.
In a presentation, Davis stated that the Raiders need a home and they need a stadium, and that is what Las Vegas is going to provide and it is going to be a great marriage. The meeting with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee was a positive one with questions from members of the committee as well as support for the NFL team shown.
If the project were to move forward, there are still issues that must be taken care of. A plan for finding tax money to fund a large portion of the stadium project as well as get the approval of twenty-three NFL owners to make the move. Davis has committed $500 million to go towards the project with $200 million of the money coming from a fund created by the NFL to use for projects involving stadiums. The Las Vegas Sands is also offering money. However, $750 million will still be needed to complete the project.
Those in favor of the new stadium have proposed that tourism taxes are increased. However, casino operators want to be assured that enough money will be gathered to fun the Las Vegas convention center expansion along with the creation of the stadium. State legislature will also have to approve the plan. The governor has already been asked to hold a special session this coming August to hold a vote.
The hard part may be getting approval from the NFL owners for the move. The NFL has long been opposed to Las Vegas due to sports betting activities. According to Davis, he has not heard anything from the other owners on the subject, including an outright ‘No’. So the possibility remains.
If the plans come to fruition, the Oakland Raiders would most likely stay where they are for the next three NFL seasons, while the new venue is being constructed. It is believed that the move by the team should take place in 2020.