It looks like the idea of an NFL team in Las Vegas might come to fruition if the Oakland Raiders have anything to say about it. In a move that the late Al Davis would be proud of, the Davis family is working its way toward bring the franchise to the great state of Nevada.
The NFL will never be the same should this happen. The gambling capital of the world would have its own professional sports team and betting on football will take on a completely different meaning.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, according to Yahoo Sports, said the reality of the NFL in her city could be right around the corner if the city can handle the transition properly.
Eric Edholm writes that Goodman appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Capital Games” podcast on Tuesday that she expects the Raiders to move to her city unless the state botches the deal.
“The Raiders will come if Nevada handles this properly,” Goodman said.
For years, there have been a few firmly held principles in NFL relocation discussions. One is the assumption that the NFL would never allow a team to go to America’s Playground, where gambling — which the NFL historically has treated as verboten — is legal. Another is that NFL franchises routinely use one city’s promises to drive up the bidding elsewhere.”
In a move straight out of Al Davis’ playbook, son Mark Davis – bad hair and all – looks to be serious about moving his team, much like his father did when the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles.
As part of his story, Edholm said Davis already has met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, saying he’d front $500 million toward building a 65,000-seat domed stadium at a total cost of $1.4 billion. With casino backing added, nearly half the project would be accounted for but it would leave $750 million for taxpayers to fund, although that could change if the Nevada Legislature is allowed to reroute some room-tax funds to support the stadium.
Not that it would fall on the Davis family totally, Goodman also said there were out-of-town investors who had expressed interest in helping fund the project if relocation was approved.
The Raiders had expressed interest in moving to Los Angeles and brought the proposal to the NFL, which was denied. St. Louis was offered the chance to move back to the city it once called home – which team owner Stan Kroenke jumped at.
Oakland played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994 before relocating back to Oakland.
The problems that still exist in this potential blockbuster move is Davis might be playing the city for a better deal in Oakland. He could also potentially move the team to Portland or San Antonio. There are plenty of variables in play here, but Goodman is convinced this is a team that will call her city home once a deal is complete.
Relocation requires three-quarters of the membership approval — in this case, 24 of the remaining 31 parent clubs — to green light such a move. Should this happen, would that mean owners in the leave would take a step back from an old belief that if the NFL was brought to a city known for high stakes gambling, would all games be played in complete fairness? How much scrutiny would controversial calls come under? Can there be peace between the league and fantasy sports, which relies heavily on injuries to players and competition trends?
Kroenke was offered a chance to stay in St. Louis with the Rams, but wanted to move from the city all along?
Before anything can happen, these questions must be answered.