Barring any last minute surprises, it looks like it could be a Silver and Black Monday in Las Vegas.
NFL owners are expected to approve the move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas during the league’s annual meetings in Phoenix today, paving the way for the city to build a new $1.9 billion domed stadium near the Strip that would also become the new home for UNLV football.
Raiders owner Mark Davis needs to convince 24 of the league’s 32 owners to approve the move. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos all expressed support for the proposal to media while checking in for the meeting on Sunday afternoon at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.
“It’s going to be an exciting day for Vegas,” Jones predicted.
Although the league has long frowned on any ties to Las Vegas and its gambling history in the past, the chance to cash in on $750 million in public money for the new stadium thanks to bonds funded by a hotel room tax apparently is too good to pass up. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been unable to come up with a viable plan to keep the Raiders, who moved to the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1982 and then back to Oakland in 1995, in the Bay Area.
Schaaf recently proposed a $1.3 billion development and new 55,000 seat stadium for the Raiders spearheaded by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and Fortress Investment group but has not been able to meet face-to-face with Davis, who has pledged his strong support for the Las Vegas move, for a year. Schaaf’s project was also shot down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week.
“Despite all of these efforts, ours and yours, we have not yet identified a viable solution,” Goodell said in a letter to Schaaf obtained by bayareanewsgroup.com. “It is disappointing to me and our clubs to have come to that conclusion.”
Days before expected Raiders relocation vote, Roger Goodell sends ominous letter to Oakland mayor. https://t.co/hUND5IH9Qa
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 25, 2017
Sure sounds like the Raiders have all the votes they need today to move to Las Vegas. Get used to…the Las Vegas Raiders.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 27, 2017