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Economist: San Antonio Better Fit for Raiders than Vegas Coliseum

The Oakland Raiders may have their sights set on Las Vegas but, in the opinion of one economist, the team should reconsider a move to San Antonio.

Before talks heated up between the Raiders and Las Vegas, San Antonio officials laid the ground work for potentially luring the team. While their plan gained some traction, it had a few unaddressed concerns–one of which being potential objections from the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

This summer has been dominated by headlines of the Raiders pursuing a move to Las Vegas, where they would partner with Las Vegas Sands Inc and Majestic Realty on a new stadium. In the opinion of economist John Vrooman, however, San Antonio offers advantages to the Raiders that Vegas cannot match. More from the San Antonio Business Journal:

Asked whether San Antonio or Las Vegas would provide the more economically stable home for the Raiders, Vrooman pointed to the growing San Antonio-Austin corridor and to this region’s relative television market strength.

“San Antonio-Austin is almost three times the TV market size as Sin City,” Vrooman said.

That’s not the only advantage this region has over Las Vegas, according to Vrooman.

“San Antonio-Austin is a fully developed metropolitan system with economic depth in a portfolio of industries,” he said. “By comparison Vegas has a shallow economic development grid that is heavily dependent on the gaming and tourism industries.”

Vrooman’s assessment comes as the Raiders try to find a suitable stadium site in Vegas. Some city officials are touting the Cashman Center in downtown, but the preference in some corners is to build the stadium near the Strip, which would be more accessible for tourists, suggesting that some see the tourism economy as being vital to the team’s success in Las Vegas.

Given that talks in Las Vegas are moving along, that market is likely to remain the Raiders’ top priority. Perhaps, however, San Antonio could reenter the fray if the team’s efforts to land in Vegas fall short.

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