Oakland Raiders plan move to Las Vegas In this April 28, 2016, file photo, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, center, meets with Raiders fans after speaking at a meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File/Eric Gay)
Oakland Raiders plan move to Las Vegas
Lexile

First, the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights. Soon, maybe, the Las Vegas Raiders.
 
Once looked on with disdain by major sports leagues, the gambling city of Las Vegas, Nevada, is now just 24 votes away from cashing in on one of the biggest sports jackpots ever.
 
The Raiders made it official by filing for relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the culmination of a whirlwind romance to bring an NFL team to a city that the league had previously gone out of its way to shun because of sports betting fears.
 
League owners are expected to vote on the move in March, and it's hard to find anyone betting it won't happen.
 
"I don't know how you can put a price on this," said Steve Sisolak, a county commissioner who has been involved in the efforts to land the team in Las Vegas. "There are only 32 cities that can say they have an NFL team and we will be one of them."
 
Actually, there is a price on it. Tourists will pay increased room taxes to fund $750 million of the cost of a new $1.9 billion stadium as part of a deal approved through a special session of the Nevada Legislature and supported by powerful casino owner Sheldon Adelson's family.
 
The stadium will be just off the glittering Las Vegas Strip, where the Golden Knights will begin play this fall in a new arena of their own. The expansion hockey team is the first major sports franchise to call the city home.
 
"Without the Golden Knights, I don't know if the Raiders would have thought this was a viable market," Sisolak said. "They kind of broke the glass ceiling."
 
If approved, the move would be the third announced by an NFL team in a year as the league undergoes a geographic shift unlike any in recent history. The Rams returned to Los Angeles from St. Louis this season, while the San Diego Chargers will begin play in LA next season.
 
"(Raiders owner) Mark Davis is a man of his word and the filing of the Raiders' application for relocation of the franchise with the NFL is a significant step in bringing the team to Las Vegas," Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said.
 
The NFL has long been opposed to any association with Las Vegas, to the point where just a few years ago it refused to allow the city to advertise on the Super Bowl telecast because it offered legal betting. But the league's opposition has softened, and so has the stance of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
 
"I think there are some real strengths to the Las Vegas market," Goodell said at an owners' meeting in December. "It's clear the Las Vegas market has become a more diversified market, more broadly involved with entertainment, hosting big events. And there's a growth to the market."
 
Las Vegas, which has about 2.5 million people in the metropolitan area, would be a smaller market than the Bay Area of California. But fans from other cities are expected to fill a third of the proposed 65,000-seat stadium, and the team will also be able to draw on Raiders fans from throughout California.
 
Influential owners like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots have spoken favorably about the prospects of a move, and Raiders owner Mark Davis has been lobbying behind the scenes to secure the votes of three-fourths of the 32 owners needed for relocation.
 
The vote is expected to take place during league meetings March 26-29 in Phoenix.
 
Davis has said the team will continue to play in Oakland until the Las Vegas stadium is finished, likely by the 2020 season. Two sites are being looked at for the stadium, both adjacent to the Strip.
 
One possible hang-up could be Adelson's participation in the project. He's the one who initiated conversations with Davis in January 2016, and was instrumental in getting a tax increase passed by the state legislature in October.
 
Adelson's family has offered $650 million toward the stadium, but has reached no deal with the Raiders yet. Team representatives say they have secured the funding to replace Adelson's investment in case a deal isn't reached. NFL rules prohibit casino operators from having ownership roles in teams.
 
Andy Abboud, the executive working on the project for Adelson, called the filing "one of those moments that makes it real" and vowed that necessary negotiations will be completed.
 
"The people of Las Vegas should be excited that the NFL is coming to town," Abboud told AP. "Business deals take time to work out, but everything will work out in the end."
 
The Raiders have two one-year options to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2017 and 2018 and are already taking season ticket renewals for next season. But the Raiders have largely ignored a proposal by former player Ronnie Lott to build a new stadium in Oakland to keep the team permanently.
 
"We are in this game and we are playing to win," Lott's group said in a statement, vowing to push ahead.
 
Under Davis' father, Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982 then returned to the East Bay in 1995.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How do the Raiders benefit by moving?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (18)
  • bradl-pla
    2/02/2017 - 12:32 p.m.

    The Oakland Raiders are hoping to move their franchise to Las Vegas by 2020. The NFL owners will vote on the decision at their meeting in March after the Raiders submitted their application for relocation. Las Vegas taxes will pay $750 million of the $1.9 Billion price tag off of new hotel taxes. Many people have become civically involved in this decision, either supporting, or opposing the move. Former player Ronnie Lott petitioned for a new stadium in Oakland, while county officials in Las Vegas support the move. Such a move could never happen with the Packers as they are owned by the city, who would never allow them to move. This makes many Green Bay residents appreciate their engagement with the Packers.

    • javariusj-hei
      2/03/2017 - 11:51 a.m.

      The question was to see how they benefit from the moving you gave facts about the Raiders and the moving.

  • jareds-cel
    2/03/2017 - 08:23 a.m.

    The Oakland Raiders are hoping to move their franchise to Las Vegas by 2020. The NFL owners will vote on the decision at their meeting in March after the Raiders submitted their application for relocation. Las Vegas taxes will pay $750 million of the $1.9 Billion price tag off of new hotel taxes. Many people have become civilly involved in this decision, either supporting, or opposing the move.

  • peytonw-cel
    2/03/2017 - 10:05 a.m.

    The Raiders are in Oakland and that is right beside San Francisco. Moving would benefit because it would give them more fans because having two NFL teams right near each other is difficult. Also the Rams just moved to California so that makes another team that fans are going for. They could benefit because they can have their own stadium. They share a stadium with the Athletics. Also that would bring a big fan base to Nevada.

  • javariusj-hei
    2/03/2017 - 11:50 a.m.

    The Raiders will benefit by moving because they will be more well known Las Vegas is more known than Oakland.

    • gabriela3-hei
      2/03/2017 - 03:44 p.m.

      I agree with you, because they will make twice the money in the spot their in new spot.

  • zakrym-ste
    2/03/2017 - 01:05 p.m.

    I hate this idea. The Oakland Raiders have a rich history of being one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. Their fans are about as worse as the Philadelphia fans. They should stay in Oakland because of the fan base.

  • basilek-pla
    2/03/2017 - 02:48 p.m.

    The Raiders want to move from Oakland to Vegas by 2020, due to increased revenue opportunities and increased potential for expansion. The league's owners will vote in March to decide whether or not the Raiders will be allowed to move. Increased room taxes will pay for roughly 35% of the cost, with the remaining $1.2 billion covered by the family of Sheldon Adelson, a wealthy casino magnate and prominent donor to the Republican party. The ties to civic engagement are obvious. A move like this requires a large campaign-esque project, with volunteers raising awareness and gathering support, along with government officials working behind the scenes to determine costs and means to cover said cost. In addition, any and all opposition groups likely had a similar system, only they fought to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

  • gabriela3-hei
    2/03/2017 - 03:37 p.m.

    The Raiders are benefiting the move by gaining more money. The reason this was a smart move is because its a hot spot for people and there is one sport team, but that the NHL and The NHL and the NFL are different seasons.

  • irisp-ste
    2/06/2017 - 08:56 a.m.

    Los Angeles is a very heavily populated area that will attract even more tourists by a NFL team calling the city their home. I, personally, have never heard of the Oakland Raiders, but I think they become much more popular and well known after moving to one of the biggest cities in the country.

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