After months of Raiders owner Mark Davis fighting to move the team from Oakland, he was dealt a victory on Monday, when the NFL owners approved the team’s move to Las Vegas.
Only one team voted against the relocation of the Raiders, according to ESPN.
Davis issued the following statement, celebrating the result:
“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness. I would like to thank Commissioner Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment. Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality.
The Las Vegas Raiders. pic.twitter.com/4wlmo0w35M
— NFL (@NFL) March 27, 2017
Complicating matters is the fact the $1.7 billion stadium will take time to build. So the Raiders will play in the Coliseum for the next two seasons, and possibly in 2019 — although Roger Goodell was less warm to that idea.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”
The team might have Oakland in its DNA, but it’s true nature was chasing the most money, which breaks down to $750 million in public funding that The Town was never going to match. The Raiders and the league will account for $500 million and the Bank of America is bridging the remaining gap in loans.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf’s Hail Mary to keep the Raiders fell flat last week, when Goodell responded with a letter that said the East Bay city wasn’t going to work because, “All of these efforts, ours and yours, have not yet identified a viable solution.”
Quarterback and face of the franchise Derek Carr said he was “overwhelmed by emotion” by the decision.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) March 27, 2017
Goodell never liked the idea of playing in Las Vegas, a city inextricably tied to gambling.
NFL officials aren’t allowed to visit Sin City during the season, now the league will have at least eight games a season in it.
Casinos were already celebrating the Raiders coming to town on Monday:
“We are looking forward to the opening kickoff,” Joe Asher, chief executive officer of William Hill US said in a statement.
“This is further evidence that the myth that legalized sports betting somehow hurts the game is nothing more than fake news.”
So, to summarize: Mark Davis – happy; Roger Goodell – along for the ride; sports books – ecstatic; Oakland – shafted by the Raiders for a second time.conflicts of interestLibby SchaafOakland RaidersRoger Goodell