The Oakland Raiders are no longer in Oakland… They’re going to Vegas!
Three-time Super Bowl champs to relocate after 31-1 vote in favour
Yes, that’s right: Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders will swap Oakland for the neon lights of Las Vegas – meaning that loyal fans will now need to travel eight hours to see them in action. Yesterday, NFL owners confirmed the move after the 32 NFL teams voted in 31-1 favour of the relocation going ahead. The no vote came from the Miami Dolphins.
With Las Vegas presenting $750 million in public funding for a new stadium, it’s believed that the vote was both unexpected and inevitable. Davis is thought to have been further persuaded after the Bank of America offered him a $650 million loan.
Davis stated: “My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future’, and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness”.
When will it happen?
Although the move has been confirmed, the Oakland Raiders won’t physically relocate until 2020, when the new $1.7 billion domed stadium is ready.The Raiders are the third NFL franchise to relocate within the last 12 months – in 2016, the Rams relocated from St. Louis to Los Angeles while January 2017 saw the Chargers relocate from San Diego to LA.
Third time lucky for The Oakland Raiders?
Since its formation in 1960, the Oakland Raiders have relocated twice: from Oakland to Los Angeles (1982-94) and then back to Oakland in 1995. Instead of going back to the City of Angels, they are now bound for Sin City in a move that will be the franchise’s third.
It’s thought that the decision to stay in Oakland was on shaky ground after the Raiders and the league were dissatisfied with Oakland’s proposals for a new stadium. In fact, at one point, the Las Vegas stadium seemed like it would never get off the ground after both casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs decided against helping to finance a stadium construction at the beginning of this year.
However, on Friday, Oakland and Alameda Country officials made an 11th-hour attempt to persuade NFL owners that they did in fact have a feasible stadium plan in place that would include public funding.
London is also on the cards
By moving the franchise in 2020, Davis has said that he hopes to “bring a championship to Oakland”. However, in a slightly awkward arrangement, the Oakland Raiders lease in Oakland runs out in 2018.
They will play at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but for 2019 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that the league will look in other potential venues. It’s believed that they will play in either Oakland, Mexico, Las Vegas… or even potentially London.