At a stadium committee meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis put his money where his mouth is when it comes to relocating his team: A $500 million pledge to the stadium project in Sin City.
Las Vegas has proposed a $1.4 billion domed stadium. A stadium could bring not just the Raiders, but perhaps a Major League Soccer team and other large soccer games. Soccer legend David Beckham appeared at the meeting with Davis. Davis expressed his desire to move the Raiders to Las Vegas along with his financial pledge, according to the Associated Press and other reports.
Even if the financials make sense with Davis' pledge of half a billion dollars and Las Vegas commits to building a stadium, and even if "Las Vegas Raiders" seems to be the most natural sounding team name in a long time, it might not be that easy. As with any relocation, the NFL owners would have to approve it, and the conservative league has bent over backward time and again to distance itself from Las Vegas and gambling. It's tough to believe that the league would ever be happy with one of its 32 franchises moving there, though the league has a strong love for new stadiums. And the Raiders still need one.
The Raiders were squeezed out of the Los Angeles plans earlier this year, with the Rams moving and the San Diego Chargers next in line if they want. Perhaps the Chargers get a new stadium in San Diego, which would open up the option for the Raiders to share the Rams' stadium in Inglewood, but that's probably not the ideal solution for Davis. The thought of moving into his own billion-dollar palace in a brand new market has to appeal to him. It has to appeal to any NFL fan who loves a good road trip, too.
Maybe this is all an elaborate plan by Davis to create leverage and eventually get the stadium he wants in the Bay Area, or somewhere else. But it seems like he's serious about moving the Raiders to Las Vegas. We'll see if the NFL allows that to happen without a fight.
Source : sports.yahoo.com