Raiders owner Mark Davis seems desperate to get outta dodge – er, Oakland. After a (so far) failed attempt to move his football team to Los Angeles, and a discouraging owners meeting in December, Davis has set his sights on Las Vegas. Thursday, he attended a meeting with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee to discuss the building of a proposed $1.4 billion domed stadium, for which he has pledged $500 million.
Davis said he hopes to turn “the Silver State [i.e. Nevada], into the silver and black state.”
Davis, soccer star David Beckham, Majestic Realty Co., and the Las Vegas Sands group came together to propose the stadium, which they say will be financed by $650 million in private funding and $50 million per year in public funding. They are also attempting to create a Clark County Stadium Authority to oversee the new project.
“I know he’s excited about it,” Majestic Realty Co. Executive Vice President Craig Cavileer said, referring to Davis. “All the survey data we’ve done and they have done bodes well for a team to move to Las Vegas. It’s now a matter of working with the community there to get the funding right and the project going.”
The proposed Stadium would be on Tropicana Boulevard between the Vegas Strip and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). UNLV would also have access to the facility.
“This has been such a long time coming,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “We have been dreaming of this for 17 hard years because this city is ready.”
A move to Vegas would require approval from 24 of the 32 NFL team owners, a threshold that could be tricky due to legalized sports gambling in Nevada. However, even if a move to Las Vegas happens, the NFL still could attempt to prevent the state’s sportsbooks from taking bets on Raiders games.
The stadium would also have to gain approval from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Nevada lawmakers. Davis said if the stadium is approved, he is ready to commit to moving the team.
“I hope it’s not another 50 years before the Raiders play another game in Las Vegas,” Davis said, alluding to the exhibition game the team played in Vegas in 1964.
(Photo credit: Zennie Abraham (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode].)
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