Las Vegas Raiders Are Now Official! Welcome to Las Vegas, Baby!

Rumors surrounding today’s vote at the NFL’s annual meeting said that there was a strong sense that they would get the 24 of 32 votes they needed to become the Las Vegas Raiders. Well, a vote on the Raiders’ application to relocate to Las Vegas has come and we can now officially call them the Las Vegas Raiders.

Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders

Just over a year ago, news broke that Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, was looking at relocating his NFL team to Las Vegas in a domed stadium. Not in one’s wildest dreams did people think the day would come where Las Vegas would be home to the Raiders, given the NFL’s resistance towards football in Las Vegas due to gambling.

Gathering in Phoenix for their spring meeting, owners of the league’s 32 teams voted whether to allow Mark Davis to move his team to Las Vegas.

Nobody expected any pushback.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said, “It’s going to change the face of Las Vegas forever. Not many cities get to be an NFL home.”

It’s time to look forward to Las Vegas evolving just by the presence of an NFL team. Not only will it impact the city, but it will impact the county and state as well.

Welcome Las Vegas Raiders! For more information on the Las Vegas Raiders, visit their website, www.raiders.com.

Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders Timeline

On January 29, 2016, team owner, Mark Davis, met with Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson about possibly relocating to a $2.3 billion, 65,000 capacity domed stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. During Davis’ meeting with Adelson, he also visited the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), which included a contingent consisting of the university’s president Len Jessup, former university president Donald Snyder, Steve Wynn, and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) owner Lorenzo Fertitta. The stadium is being proposed to replace Sam Boyd Stadium and would serve as the home of both the Raiders and the UNLV Rebels college football program. A relocation to Las Vegas would be a long-term proposal, as Sam Boyd Stadium is undersized for the NFL and there are no other professional-caliber stadiums in Nevada. Raiders officials were also in Las Vegas to tour locations in the valley for a potential new home; they were also on the 42-acre site of the proposed stadium to ask questions about the site.

Interviewed by sports columnist Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Davis said that he had a “great” visit in the city he described it as interesting. Davis also said that Las Vegas was a global city and that “it’s absolutely an NFL city,” as well as saying that “the Raider brand would do well” and “I think Las Vegas is coming along slowly”.

On March 21, 2016, when asked about Las Vegas, Davis said, “I think the Raiders like the Las Vegas plan,” and “it’s a very very very intriguing and exciting plan”, referring to the stadium plan in Las Vegas. Davis also met with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval about the stadium plan. On April 1, 2016, Davis toured Sam Boyd Stadium to evaluate whether UNLV could serve as a temporary home of the team and was with UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy, adviser Don Snyder and school president Len Jessup to further explore the possibility of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas.

On April 28, 2016, Davis said he wanted to move the Raiders to Las Vegas and pledged $500 million toward the construction of a proposed $2.4 billion domed stadium. “Together we can turn the Silver State into the silver and black state,” Davis said.

At a media conference in UNLV’s Stan Fulton Building, Davis also said the club had “made a commitment to Las Vegas at this point in time and that’s where it stands.” In an interview with ESPN after returning from a meeting for the 2016 NFL draft he expanded upon reasons why Southern Nevada held a certain appeal over the East Bay of the Oakland–San Francisco Bay Area, how he tried to make it work in Oakland and why (as he told Sandoval) he hopes to turn Nevada into the “Silver and Black State”; he also spoke of the meeting saying, “It was a positive, well-organized presentation that I believe was well-received”, and stating, “It was a very positive step in finding the Raiders a home.”

On May 20, 2016, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would support Davis and the Raiders move to Las Vegas, stating, “I think it would be good for the NFL.” If the Raiders were to move to Las Vegas the only competition they would have is the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League. On August 11, 2016, Raiders officials met with Northern Nevada officials about the possibility of Reno being the site of a new training camp/practice facility and toured several sites including the University of Nevada, Reno, Reno area high schools, and sports complexes. On August 25, 2016, the Raiders filed a trademark application for “Las Vegas Raiders” on the same day renderings of a new stadium (located west of Interstate 15 at Las Vegas) were released to the public.

On September 15, 2016, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee unanimously voted to recommend and approve $750 million for the Las Vegas stadium plan.

On October 11, 2016, the Nevada Senate voted 16–5 to approve the funding bill for the Las Vegas stadium proposal. The Nevada Assembly voted 28–13 three days later to approve the bill to fund the new Las Vegas stadium proposal; two days later, Sandoval signed the funding bill into law.

Davis told ESPN on October 15, 2016 that even if the Raiders are approved by the league to relocate to the Las Vegas metropolitan area, the club would play the next two seasons at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, stating “We want to bring a Super Bowl championship back to the Bay Area.” The team would then play at a temporary facility in 2019 after its lease at the Coliseum expires. Davis has also indicated a desire to play at least one preseason game in Las Vegas, at Sam Boyd Stadium, as early as the 2017 season.

On October 17, 2016, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill 1 which approved a hotel room rate tax increase to accommodate $750 million in public funding for the new stadium.

On November 12, 2016, a report from the NFL’s own in-house media team outlined how Las Vegas might not be a done deal. The report stated that the majority of owners favor the Raiders staying in Oakland due to market size and stability. The vast majority of the NFL’s revenue comes from TV contracts. So because of that, it made little sense for the other 31 NFL owners to vote in favor of one of their partners abandoning the 6th biggest media market for the 42nd. It remains to be seen if the leverage created in Las Vegas will result in a stadium deal in Oakland or if a no-move vote from the other owners will simply start the stadium search process over again.

The Raiders officially filed paperwork to relocate from Oakland, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 19, 2017. The Raiders move would still need approval of 24 of the 32 NFL owners to officially move to Vegas. A vote on the matter could come as early as March. Even if relocation is approved, the team will still be called the “Oakland” Raiders if the club plans to remain in Oakland in 2017 and 2018 to finish out its the lease at the Coliseum.

On January 30, 2017, it was announced that Adelson had dropped out of the stadium project, also withdrawing the Las Vegas Sands’ proposed $650 million contribution from the project. Instead, the Raiders would increase their contribution from $500 million to $1.15 billion. One day after Adelson’s announcement, Goldman Sachs (the company behind the financing to the proposed Las Vegas stadium) announced its intent to withdraw from the project.

On March 6, 2017, the Raiders revealed Bank of America would be replacing the Sheldon Adelson portion of the funding. – Wikipedia

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