Raiders Close to Moving
March 16, 2017
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It hasn’t been easy for the Oakland Raiders and their push for Las Vegas – but it looks like things may be straightening out.
After the pull-out of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs Incorporated on January 30, the Raiders have found the finance partner they’ve been searching for.
On March 6, Bank of America reportedly became the team’s financial partner. Raiders’ owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badain informed an NFL finance committee that Bank of America had filled the gap in the deal, putting the team back on track.
Under the original plan, the stadium authority would provide $750 million in Las Vegas tax revenues; the Raiders and NFL would put forth $500 million; and Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs Inc. would put up $650 million.
There is no word yet if Bank of America will replace Adelson’s $650 million to the team.
The Raiders’ relocation application did not include Adelson, and had been shut out from lease negotiations before the team sent the proposal, which ultimately led to his withdrawal.
“It’s clear the Raiders have decided their path for moving to Las Vegas does not include the Adelson family,” said Adelson to ESPN. “So, regrettably, we will no longer be involved in any facet of the stadium discussion.”
The team filed paperwork for relocation to Las Vegas in mid-January. A sequence of committee meetings will be taking place over the offseason, followed by voting by all 32 NFL owners.
If the vote is in favor of Davis and the Raiders, the move will be in motion and a $1.9 billion stadium will be built and the 2020 season will begin in the Sin City. Davis intends on playing a few more seasons in Oakland while the stadium is under construction.
However, if NFL owners vote to decline the move, there are other options on the table. When the Raiders announced they were ready to leave, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff got to work to keep the team in the Bay Area. “We know Oakland has something to offer that Las Vegas will never have,” said Schaff to KTNV. “That is legacy and loyalty.”
Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and his group are also involved in keeping the team in Oakland. The city and Alameda County approved of their stadium plan back in December, and the group formally submitted the plan to the NFL for the first time on February 28th. The plan included components for a 65,000 seat stadium, estimated at a cost of $1.3 billion.
In spite of the efforts made by Mayor Schaff and the Lott group, Davis made it perfectly clear he is confident the team will move and will no longer negotiate with the city of Oakland.
The only thing stopping the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas is the vote. The organization will need the approval from 24 NFL owners. No estimate vote count has been released, but things seem to be progressing and gaining momentum among the owners.
A long and dramatic process will soon come to an end. Will there be a Las Vegas Raiders in the near future for Oakland? The owners will meet in Phoenix, Arizona from March 26 to March 29. A vote may take place during that time, or may be postponed.