Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis traveled to Las Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson, the chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is the parent company of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. The purpose of the visit was to reportedly to visit a 42-acre site that a new special events stadium will be built upon.
Most assumed this visit represented nothing more than a leverage play by Davis, who is exploring all options right now after being left out of the Inglewood project in Los Angeles.
However, the NFL reportedly sent out a memo that seems to indicate that assumption is wrong. This was first reported by Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles News Group and was confirmed by Albert Breer or NFL Network, who provided a copy of the memo:
Essentially, if the owners and the league wants this to happen, there are no rules standing in the way of such a move.
That said, the statement isn’t suggesting it’s a given it would happen, even if the owners did vote in favor of a Vegas proposal. Given the potential pitfalls for any pro sports team operating in Vegas — most notably that whole gambling thing — the league would certainly have reasons to poo-poo the move.
That said, commissioner Roger Goodell and his office are employed by the owners, and if there is money to be made you can be sure they’ll explore all options.
Davis has other options as well. He could potentially move his team to San Antonio, where he owns land. He could also stay in Oakland, if a deal could be worked out with the city. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York recently said Levi’s Stadium was built “to hold two teams” in reference to the Raiders’ conundrum.
This is going to be a fascinating story to follow. And, if we learned anything from the San Diego/Los Angeles situation, we’ll be fed plenty of misinformation along the way.