Raiders to Sin City… Will Las Vegas gain an NFL franchise?


NFL senior officials are set to review a new franchise proposition for the city of Las Vegas, which aims to migrate the Oakland Raiders to ‘Sin City’.

Pitching the proposition’s serious intent, Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson hosted a media day last Thursday with former England Football captain David Beckham in attendance.

Adelson, the fifteenth richest man in US (Forbes 400 – $26 billion), outlined plans for a 60,000 ‘Las Vegas Dome’ to house the historic Raiders.

The Vegas Raiders plans have been supported by franchise owners’ the Davis family (47% equity), with son Mark who acts as Managing General Partner making it clear that the family supported a move to Nevada.

Speaking to US media, Mark Davis stated that the family were prepared to subsidise the relocation of The Raiders to Las Vegas with a $500 million investment, of which $200 million would come from an NFL loan.

The Davis family remain unhappy at Oakland city officials for not granting any public funding towards the building of a new stadium. At present The Raiders share the Oakland Coliseum with MLB baseball team and stadium owners the Oakland Athletics.

An ongoing dispute with the family, Oakland governance has stated that the city (population 400,000) has no need for two +50,000 seater stadiums.

Last week Mark Davis made his most public commitment to the franchise migration, urging the NFL committee to grant favour to the move.

“Together we can turn the Silver State into the silver and black state,” Mark Davis declared.

Davis actions would be criticised by Californian news sources, Oakland officials who stated that the family was looking for “easy way out of Oakland and a free stadium”. Furthermore, fans stated that the move would kill one of the NFL’s most historic and followed franchises with three NFL championships (1976,1980 and 1983).

In recent years Las Vegas has beenthe fastest growing city in the US, and has seen multiple interest for potential new franchises or team migrations. However, US pro-sports leagues’ have shunned the city due to its association with gambling and sports betting which could undermine US professional sports credentials.

Following last week’s public announcement for the Vegas Raiders backed by the Davis family and Sheldon Adelson, US news sources have declared that this appears to be the strongest proposition drafted for bringing the NFL to Sin City.

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