NFL Owners Approve Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Oakland Raiders are officially moving to Las Vegas. The Raiders received 31 of a possible 32 votes from NFL owners on Monday, which will officially put the relocation in motion. The Miami Dolphins were the only team that voted against the move. The Raiders needed 24 votes in their favor in order to make the move happen.
Where Will the Raiders Play?
The Raiders are set to build a 65,000 seat stadium to be shared with UNLV that will open in 2020. The project will cost nearly $2 billion, with most of the money coming from the Raiders, the NFL, Bank of America and the citizens of Las Vegas. In the meantime, owner Mark Davis has told ESPN that the Raiders will stay in Oakland for at least the next two years as the new stadium in Las Vegas is being built. The team owns a pair of one-year options on their current home, the Oakland Coliseum.
As of now, there is no solution for where the Raiders will play in 2019. Their lease with the Coliseum in Oakland will have run out, and Davis has stated in the past that he has no desire to play games at UNLV’s current 35,500-seat stadium due to security concerns and a lack of quality facilities.
History with Oakland
The city of Oakland reportedly made one final effort to try and keep the Raiders in town, though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to mayor Libby Schaaf last Friday that indicated that keeping the team in Oakland was not a “viable solution.”
The Raiders have reportedly been trying for the better part of a decade to get a new stadium in the Bay Area. Once it became clear that no solution was going to be found, Davis turned his attention elsewhere. Following a brief period during which he showed some interest in moving the Raiders to San Antonio, Davis zeroed-in on Las Vegas as a potential landing spot.
Pro Sports in Las Vegas
The Raiders will become the second professional sports franchise to make Las Vegas their permanent home. An NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, is set to begin play for the 2017-18 season.
In the past, the notion of moving an NFL franchise to Las Vegas seemed like a pipedream. Owners have always been leery of moving a team to a city like Las Vegas due to its stigma as a gambling haven. Many have believed that moving a professional sports franchise to Las Vegas has been a scandal waiting to happen due to potential improprieties stemming from sports gambling.
This will mark the second time the Raiders have left Oakland. After beginning in Oakland in 1959, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles in 1982 after then-owner Al Davis unsuccessfully attempted to refurbish the Oakland Coliseum. The team remained in L.A. until moving back to Oakland in 1995.
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