The planned NFL ‘Owners Meeting’ scheduled for Phoenix 26-29 March, has gained added significance as franchise holders may be asked to vote on the approval of the Oakland Raiders relocating to Las Vegas Nevada.
Representatives of the Davis Family (Raiders franchise owners) have submitted official ‘relocation papers’ to NFL governance. If approved, the ‘Las Vegas Raiders’ project will be put to vote, with the Davis family needing 24 of the leagues 32 owners to approve the relocation.
The Vegas Raiders project has had the support of Sin City power broker Sheldon Adelson, multi-billionaire owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Throwing his weight behind the Vegas Raiders project, Adelson is prepared to pay $650 million towards the construction of a $1.9 billion domed +60,000 seater stadium.
However, Adelson’s relationship with Vegas Raiders would have to be clarified by the NFL, as current ownership rules prohibit casino operators from having franchise investments.
Vegas Raiders’ stakeholders have detailed that the team would look to relocate to Sin City by NFL season 2019/2020, seeing out its current stadium lease with the city of Oakland.
Reaction to the Vegas Raiders has been mixed. Whilst the Las Vegas project has notable high profiled backers such as Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys) and Robert Kraft (owner of the New England Patriots) who state that a Las Vegas team would benefit the NFL.
However, critics of the Vegas Raiders have stated that the move would likely kill one of the NFL’s most historic and followed franchises with three NFL championships (1976,1980 and 1983) and that the relocation has been driven by the Davis Family’s greed towards an ‘easy paycheck’ from Las Vegas authorities.