According to reports over the weekend, the Oakland Raiders are getting closer to filing for permission to relocate to Las Vegas.
Such a decision would not come as a surprise, given the emphasis that Raiders owner Mark Davis has placed on the move. The pursuit of a stadium in Las Vegas made progress over last year, with perhaps the strongest support of the project coming in the form of $750 million in public funding for a $1.9 billion stadium project that was pledged by Nevada state legislators. While the Raiders have had difficulties coming to terms with Sheldon Adelson, who was originally expected to be a partner in the project, the team has indicated that the plan could move forward without him.
There has also been a less-than-enthusiastic response from both the Raiders and the NFL for staying in Oakland, where officials have a framework for a stadium deal that calls for contributions from the Raiders and the league. While the team is expected to apply to relocate before the February 15 deadline, it is likely going to take time to sort through their relocation proposal. More from NFL.com:
The filing would include a statement explaining the Raiders’ decision, then potentially words from Goodell. There would be committee meetings to analyze the move from all sides, then a vote of all the owners. Between the analysis, vetting, and discussion, it’s likely it would take about 4-6 weeks.
That would set up a vote of the owners to send the Raiders to Vegas during the late-March league meetings in Arizona — with 24 votes needing to pass. The other option would be to call a special league meeting, which doesn’t appear likely.
As for the support from the room of owners, it’s described as making progress and gathering momentum. There isn’t nearly the opposition some anticipated originally. And it continues to build, with some of the most prominent owners vocally in favor of it.
Even if a move is approved, the Raiders are–for now–slated to spend the next few seasons in Oakland, as a new stadium in Las Vegas could take until at least 2020 to open. The original funding model in place for the Las Vegas stadium calls for $500 million from the Raiders, with an additional $650 million from Adelson.
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