After a year of talk regarding the possibility of the Raiders relocating from their current home in Oakland, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, it appears The Silver and Black may have made a decision.
According to an NFL.com report, the Raiders will file relocation papers to make the move to Las Vegas, marking the first time an NFL team would be located in the area. The decision by the Raiders is expected to be made official soon. The team will need permission from 24 of the league’s 32 team owners to make the move a reality. That vote will take place this spring, according to the report.
A Bloomberg report in late October 2016 indicated the mayor of Oakland was trying to keep the Raiders in the city and was considering a proposal for a new stadium for the team to call home. However, according to the current report, no progress has been made by the city of Oakland to make that happen. No stadium proposal from the Alameda County Board and the Oakland City Council has been suggested that either the NFL or independent sources have deemed credible all but assuring the team’s official departure.
The team currently plays its home games at the Oakland Coliseum, which opened in 1966 and is shared by the MLB team the Oakland Athletics. It is the second smallest NFL stadium and has a seating capacity of 56,057 for football; nearly 10,000 less than the proposed domed stadium that would be built on the UNLV campus. However, it’s still not clear whether or not the Raiders will come to terms on the $1.9 billion Las Vegas Stadium project. The original plan would see casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. contribute $650 million and the Raiders organization would kick in $500 million, with the state of Nevada being responsible for the remaining $750 million, which would come from a Clark County hotel room tax revenue.
Once the Raiders officially file for relocation, the process, which will include a thorough examination, analysis, and discussion, will likely take between 4 to 6 weeks, according to the report. There are owners meeting scheduled for March and May this year, which means there is a good chance the relocation vote will happen at one of those two meetings.
It has been estimated that an NFL team in Las Vegas would bring 800,000 more visitors to the area and create as much as $620 million in annual revenues.
Raider’s owner Mark Davis, who attended the signing of the new stadium bill in Vegas last October, has reportedly said that if the team does relocate, the Raiders will stay put through at least the 2018 season. Once the move gets the nod from the owners, however, the team will be headed to Vegas.