The Raiders are 24 votes away from being officially on their way out of Oakland.
With casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and subsequently Goldman Sachs withdrawing their $650-million pledge in January, Raiders owner Mark Davis had a giant hole in his plan to move his team to Las Vegas.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Bank of America will bridge the gap, putting the relocation process back on track.
That was met favorably by a couple key ownership committees over the last two days of meetings, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“That gave [finance and stadium] committee members a fair amount of confidence that this project could be financed in a traditional manner,’’ NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman told the paper, owned by Adelson. “Bank of America is well-known in the NFL. Having [Bank of America officials] appear at the meeting saying they were prepared to put up the financing carried a lot of weight.’’
Getting B of A in place negates the NFL’s ideological concerns of allowing a casino owner into the league, as Adelson insisted on taking an ownership stake of the Raiders if he was going to give them millions for a new stadium.
The deal now awaits the approval of 24 of the league’s 32 owners, who are expected to vote on the proposal during the next meetings March 26-29.
The joint committees are expected to recommend Davis’ plan before those dates, but there remains at least one possible sticking point: A relocation fee that would cost in the hundreds of millions.
The Chargers and Rams each had to pay $550 million when they moved to Los Angeles, and the Daily News reports the Raiders are expected to pay between $200- and $300-million.
The Raiders will most likely be in Oakland for the next two years, exercising a pair of one-year lease options they have left at the Coliseum, while the $1.9 billion domed stadium in south Las Vegas is under construction. But, that will still leave some uncertainty for the 2019 season as the new facility won’t be completed by then.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf pitched a plan to keep the team in the East Bay on Monday as well, but it was rejected as not realistic and/or good enough.
And with $750 million in free money for the league, it appears the situation is dire for those hoping to keep the Silver and Black in Northern California.Las VegasMark DavisNFLOakland Raidersrelocationsheldon adelson