Home I Daily Fantasy Sports I Raiders Officially Moving To Vegas
It is now official! Viva Las Vegas! After 14 months of struggle the Raiders finally get the approval to relocate to Nevada.
On the 27th of March, 31 out of the 32 NFL owners voted “Yes” to the relocation.
The only one who voted against it, was Miami Dolphins’ general manager Stephen Ross. According to the real estate businessman, the Raiders didn’t do much to stay in Oakland and disappointed their fans.
He believes that if you are a team owner, you have to represent the city and invest in its infrastructure, and it is wrong to expect the city to take care of your stadium and players’ well-being. This statement is actually supported by Ross’ actions. He recently paid $500 million to improve his Hard Rock Stadium – the home for the Dolphins.
Like typical raiders, this is the fourth time the team is changing its home in the last 40 years. This relocation though, was the most difficult quest of all. Its approval was the culmination of 14 months of efforts and struggle of the general manager Mark Davis and his staff.
In January, 2016, the Raiders tried to relocate to Los Angeles, being one of the three teams racing to the “City of Angels”. But they finished last in this race.
The Rams’ relocation was approved and the Chargers didn’t stay in San Diego, so there was no options left for the Raiders to participate in the stadium project in Carson, California.
Later this month Mark Davis met with the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to negotiate a possible relocation to southern Nevada.
In February, 2016, there was a rumor about the Raiders moving to Santa Clara and playing at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium. But Davis didn’t see enough potential in this place.
In March, 2016, Davis thought about the idea of relocating to the recently abandoned St. Louis. In his mind though, the city couldn’t be a suitable home for his franchise.
Meanwhile the rent of Oakland’s stadium more than tripled – to $3.5 million a year.
In late April Mark Davis and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) agreed about the construction of a 65,000-seat stadium. That was the point where all the Raiders turned their heads to Vegas.
In September an investment group led by Ronnie Lott (a Pro Football Hall of Famer) tried to purchase the Raiders stadium and the surrounding land, thus keeping the franchise in Oakland.
Their claim though, was rejected by the NFL, probably due to Mark Davis’ connections. Meanwhile the costs for the new field were too high, so Davis and UNLV were trying to find ways to generate extra investments.
In October the Nevada state approved a $750 million local tax plan for building the stadium.
In January, 2017 the Raiders filed the paperwork to the NFL. Unfortunately Davis wanted too much for the stadium project and the biggest investor – Sheldon Adelson, became angry. Later in the month he withdrew his pledge of $650 million, leaving the Raiders’ plan at risk. Businessman Goldman Sachs, Adelson’s friend and partner, also pulled his money out.
In March, 2017, Bank of America stepped in and saved the day, filling the gap of missing money (in the form of a loan of course).
During the voting on March 27, the Raiders needed 24 yes votes and got 31.
The Raiders will remain in Oakland for the next two years and Mark Davis has assured the fans he will try to win the Super Bowl for the Bay area before completing the relocation.
The new covered 65,000-seat stadium in Vegas will be ready by 2020 and will cost $1.9 billion, shared by the Raiders, the UNLV, Bank of America, and the NFL’s special stadium-building fund.
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