Mark Davis, the owner of the Oakland Raiders, says that market research studies are being conducted by the team to gather information about relocating the team from Oakland, California to Las Vegas.
At the NFL owners meeting Tuesday, Davis said that the initial reports from the studies have come back “positive” regarding the feasibility of the move. Davis wants to move the NFL team to Vegas after not being able to get a satisfactory stadium deal in Oak Town. He said, “I have given my commitment to Las Vegas and if they can get done what they’re talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas,” according to the Las Vegas Sun.
In April, Davis spoke in front of the stadium commission and said he was committed to moving the team to the city of Las Vegas in addition to 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. No timetable for the potential move was given by Davis, who said it was up to the legislative process.
The potential relocation wasn’t discussed on Tuesday during league meetings; however, Davis and the move did receive support from some owners. Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, said, “I bet you every visiting team would have a lot of fans going there for weekends,” and, “If he’d like to move there and (the city) is supportive, and Oakland doesn’t do what they should do, then I’m behind him.” The CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, Jed York, said that Davis has put the work in to try to get something done is Oakland, but that “it’s a tough market for them to have a good private partnership with.”
Davis said that after the team’s one-year lease is up, the Raiders have two one-year options. He said, “We want to do it right, so it’s not a real rushed thing,” The Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, said that talk about a possible Raiders move is “very premature,” adding that Davis hasn’t presented the league with any proposal. He said, “We believe in that market (of Oakland), but there has to be a solution that is developed,” Goodell added, “It’s not just on us. There has got to be a cooperative agreement to find that solution. It’s been a long time coming. This didn’t start 12 months ago. This has been a long time in seeking a solution and it’s time to get to that.”
Meanwhile, state officials in Nevada echoed Goodell’s “very premature” sentiment, saying that before a special session of Nevada’s Legislature to consider a stadium can happen, there are issues that need to be resolved including efforts to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center and its funding and whether or not light rail should be an option for public access to the domed 65,000 seat stadium in Las Vegas.