The city of Las Vegas is aggressively pursuing an NFL team. They’ve previously been in talks with the Raiders.
And while the Raiders remain Vegas’ top priority, NBC’s Paul Pabst is reporting that the San Diego Chargers are also “in play.”
Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said that while the Raiders are the focus, the Chargers are in play-"I know they are absolutely looking to move"
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) May 12, 2016
Saying that the Chargers “are absolutely looking to move” isn’t exactly breaking news. Team chairman Dean Spanos did show commitment towards San Diego in February, but the team maintains an option to move to Los Angeles for 2017, assuming they can get a deal done with the Los Angeles Rams by January.
However, the idea that the Chargers morph into the Las Vegas Chargers is relatively new. All talks about the NFL in Sin City have previously solely involved the Raiders.
The Raiders to Vegas still seems like the more likely resolution. They’ve not only had far less luck with Oakland than the Chargers have had with San Diego.
But even if the Chargers remain in their current home, the Raiders can’t negotiate with Los Angeles until January. That opens up Las Vegas as a pretty natural landing spot.
The prevalence and legality of sports betting is obviously one major drawback that would need to be considered. But if those concerns can be alleviated, Vegas has many other elements that would make it a great fit for the NFL.
Additionally, if either the Raiders or Chargers move there, they could remain in the AFC West, keeping the NFL from having to realign from its current geographically-centered division model.
Barring a dramatic shift with both of these teams in their current cities (especially the Raiders in Oakland), the NFL in Las Vegas seems appears to be a likely scenario.