Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis isn’t bluffing about his interest in taking his NFL franchise to Las Vegas.
Already lined up for a second meeting Thursday with key people in Las Vegas in relationship to the proposed domed stadium, in concert with The Sands, Davis will reportedly commit to moving his club to Nevada if the funding is approved.
“Raiders owner Mark Davis will be in Las Vegas Thursday when the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) meets to discuss plans to build a 65,000-seat stadium near the Las Vegas strip, and according to sources, Davis will offer a commitment to pursue a Raiders relocation there if financing for the $1.3 billion project is approved,” Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
For those who think the NFL would never allow such a development to occur, consider this quote from a high-ranking NFL source, per Bonsignore: “It would be a good home for them.”
The NFL has also made it clear recently that there are no rules prohibiting an NFL team to make the move to Vegas. There is at least one owner who isn’t keen on such a move, citing the casinos as a reason for the Raiders to stay away.
That said, if the power brokers of the league, such as Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, get behind a move and the funding is approved for the new stadium, it’s only a matter of time before this move becomes a reality.
The big issue the league must tackle is obviously the proximity to the casinos, which are humongous hubs of sports betting. That said, in this age where distance is irrelevant due to the technology we possess, it matters not if an NFL team is one mile down the road or 1,000 miles away.
If a player wants to take money to sway a game, he will, regardless of where he lives.
At this point the biggest challenges facing Davis and the Raiders are right in front of them. Moving the team to Las Vegas seems like a dream move for both the franchise and the league. Given the fact that Vegas is always swarming with people, and the fact that other sports like boxing and MMA are quite successful, not to mention lucrative, it seems like a move isn’t far away.