- John Locher/AP
With news on Monday that Nevada governor Brian Sandoval had officially signed into law a proposal to allocate $750 million in public money toward a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat football stadium in downtown Las Vegas, Mark Davis’ bid to move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas now faces one final hurdle: approval from NFL ownership.
Per NFL rules, 24 of the 32 NFL owners will need to vote in favor of the Las Vegas Raiders in order to officially greenlight the relocation. According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, those votes will be hard to come by.
On Tuesday, Maske reported that a majority NFL owners are staunchly against moving the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas, and not – as has previously been reported – because of the potential dangers of having a team located in the heart of the gambling capital of the world. Rather, NFL owners do not like the idea of moving a team from a big TV market to a small one.
“I think in general we don’t like to leave big markets for small markets,” a high-ranking official with one NFL team said. “That’s as big as anything. I think most people are not crazy about that.”
That person said it’s “too early to tell” if such a relocation application would be ratified by the owners. A proposed Raiders’ move to Vegas would require 24 votes in favor among the 32 league owners for approval.
Previous reports have suggested that when it comes to Las Vegas, NFL ownership will be divided between the old guard owners like the Rooney and Mara families, and the new-money owners like Jerry Jones. As Pro Football Talk noted, it’s curious that Jones has publicly expressed his approval of Vegas while those against it remain anonymous.
Davis can’t officially file for relocation until the season ends, and even if he doesn’t get the 23 additional votes that he needs, he could still attempt to move his franchise, just as his father famously did.
Another wrinkle in the Raiders’ future home could reveal itself on election day. The Chargers, remember, still have the first option to join the Rams in Los Angeles if they cannot work out a solution to stay in San Diego. A new stadium in San Diego has been proposed, and the question of whether or not to contribute public funding will be on the ballot for San Diego residents on November 8. If the public funding is approved, the Chargers would stay in San Diego and the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles would pass to the Raiders.
For now, though, Davis sounds completely gung-ho on Las Vegas. Only time will tell if his fellow owners will eventually come around.