The Oakland Raiders' organization is very out of the ordinary. The team and its fans have an attitude unlike anything the modern sports world has ever seen. They have a lot of things in common with the city of Las Vegas. Raiders' owner Mark Davis seems to think so, as well.
Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported that Davis is heading out to Las Vegas this Thursday to discuss his franchise possibly relocating to the city. The idea sounds and looks great on paper, but there is plenty of red tape that needs to be cut.Davis will supposedly "pledge" to move his franchise to Las Vegas if the his investors agree to build a stadium that the team could play in. That is a fairly big promise that needs to be filled in order for Mark Davis to hold up his end of the bargain. However, Davis can pledge all that he wants to because he is powerless and can't move the franchise on his own. Mark Davis has to get approval.
Business Insider reported that a hotel and casino company, called Las Vegas Sands, are the investors that will build the stadium if all goes well. The stadium would be shared by the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) football team and the potential "Las Vegas Raiders" if it were built. Until the stadium is finished, the Oakland Raiders would play in UNLV's current field, Sam Boyd Stadium.Although the idea does sound very appealing, the Oakland Raiders would be the first professional sports team to be based in Sin City. Most professional sports leagues have strayed away from the idea due to gambling. If Mark Davis and the NFL decide to sanction this move, the two parties would be making history in the world of sports.
Twenty-four NFL owners have to approve of the move in order for Mark Davis to take action. Jason Cole also reported that more "old school" owners, like John Mara of the New York Giants, want to make sure gambling and football stay far away from each other. However, the move may be so enticing that just enough teams decide to go along with the idea.
From an NFL owners' perspective, the move is pretty hard to turn away from. The Las Vegas market is totally untouched. The people of Las Vegas only have the sports programs at UNLV to look forward to. The amount of money that the NFL could make is actually mind-blowing.
With the Rams now in Los Angeles, the NFL expanding into yet another new market may sway some of the owners to vote in favor of the Raiders' relocation. The NFL would make more money with the Raiders in Las Vegas rather than sharing a stadium with the Rams in Los Angeles. There would also be no change in divisional schemes, because all of the AFC West teams would be within an even shorter distance of each other.
A huge selling point for the owners that don't want to sanction the move may be the fact that the Oakland Raiders are still very popular where they are. ESPN reported that the Raiders may sell out their season tickets for the first time in franchise history.It is likely that the Oakland Raiders don't remain in the Bay Area if the price of their rent remains as high as it already is. ESPN reported that their rent has increased by 300 percent, which is more than a little steep. It is pretty hard to blame Mark Davis for not wanting to pay that price.
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