The Oakland Raiders have had one foot out of the door of Oakland for years. But Saturday morning the team confirmed it will file relocation papers to move the franchise to Las Vegas.
The news is expected to be officially unveiled by Raiders soon and was first reported by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport Saturday morning at 3 a.m. PT.
The move will be the third in the franchise's history, and first out of the state of California.
The team re-branding itself by way of a new name and logo - is still within the realm of possibility as well.
Raiders owner Mark Davis made it painfully obvious over the last year how unhappy he was with Oakland. Now, Davis will act on his feelings by relocating the Silver and Black to Las Vegas.
It wasn't until the 2016 season that Davis essentially refused to negotiate with those in charge of getting the Raiders a new stadium in the Bay Area.
Despite their efforts, a source close to Rapoport said that Oakland had made zero headway in putting together a viable plan.
"The city of Oakland has made no progress to keep the team, sources say. It has not come up with a stadium proposal that league or independent sources believe is credible. At this point, it is only a matter of time before they officially leave."
Davis met with the NFL on Tuesday to discuss relocation plans with the league.
The meeting left NFL vice president Eric Grubman reportedly "impressed," and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney Jr. stating Davis would make an announcement soon.
While the team has yet to make said official announcement, Rapoport's report all but seals the deal on the move Raiders move to Sin City.
The last hurdle to clear for the Raiders is a vote by all of the NFL owners, which is something else expected to fall in their favor.
Overall, the Raiders will need 24 of 32 votes from league owners at a spring vote in order to have their relocation plan approved.
Raiders Wire will continue to monitor and update the situation.
|© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports May 11, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General view of Oakland Raiders helmet at the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the Las Vegas strip on Las Vegas Blvd. Raiders owner Mark Davis (not pictured) has pledged…|
Report: Raiders soon to file relocation papers to Las Vegas
A third NFL team in a year might be on the move. Following in the steps of the Rams and Chargers, the Raiders are set to file relocation papers to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Long anticipated as a distinct possibility, the move will become official in the coming days once the Raiders file relocation papers, Rapoport indicated. Still uncertain is the exact financing mechanism for a new stadium, estimated at $1.9 billion. Initial plans had indicated that the Raiders would contribute $500 million, the family of casino owner Sheldon Adelson would kick in $650 million, and a hotel tax in Clark County would add $750 million. The status of that particular agreement remains in flux.
The move would require the approval of 24 owners, most likely at the owners’ meetings in March. If approved, Rapoport writes, the Raiders would continue to play in Oakland as a lame-duck team while a stadium is being built in Las Vegas.
This isn’t the first, or even second, time the Raiders have moved. The team moved from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, and back to Oakland in 1995. In addition, Las Vegas would become the first new city to host an NFL team since Nashville welcomed the Oilers-turned-Titans in 1998.
Oakland Raiders plan to relocate to Las Vegas
The Oakland Raiders are reportedly going to file the necessary paperwork to relocate the NFL franchise to Las Vegas in the coming weeks.
It’s a strange time in the NFL, as a third franchise in a two year span has chosen to relocate. With the Rams coming to Los Angeles in 2016 and the Chargers heading their as well in 2017, it now seems inevitable the Oakland Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “the Raiders will file relocation papers to move from Oakland to Las Vegas.” The Raiders have had stadium issues for decades, having already left the Bay Area once before because of them.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has gone about this pragmatically, trying to keep his NFL franchise in Oakland for the last several years. However, the Davis Family is the least wealthy of the 32 NFL owners. The Raiders are really the only asset the Davis Family has.
Given that it’s incredibly difficult to publicly finance stadiums in California, Davis plans to relocate his team to Southern Nevada. While moving to Las Vegas from Oakland is a sharp drop off in size of metropolitan region, the NFL is an increasingly global game. International fans are more familiar with the Las Vegas market than Oakland. Maybe this plays into the NFL’s decision to allow this relocation to happen.
Davis has been in talks with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson about financing Las Vegas Stadium for $1.9 billion. However, this would require Davis to give up partial stake in his team and he may not want to do that.
What this move comes down to is making the NFL increasingly global and getting the Raiders the football venue it deserves. Moving the Raiders to Las Vegas doesn’t hurt the brand. Raiders fans are everywhere and the move to Las Vegas actually accentuates their renegade mantra as a football franchise.
Weekend flights from the Bay Area to Las Vegas are frequent and therefore cheap. Raiders Nation will presumably follow the team wherever the play on the West Coast. Frankly, the Raiders are probably the most popular NFL team in three media markets (Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas).
Davis does reportedly plan to play games at O.co Coliseum for the foreseeable future until a new Las Vegas stadium is built. Of course, he’ll need 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners to approve the move. If he gets the right owners in his corner, the relocation proposition will pass.
Of the three relocations in the NFL, this one with the Raiders will be the least painful. Oakland has been beyond reluctant to help keep the Raiders in the Bay Area. St. Louis and San Diego put forth substantially better efforts to keep their franchises with new stadium propositions.
The Raiders will be the second professional sports franchise to be headquartered in Las Vegas, joining the NHL expansion franchise Vegas Golden Knights. The stigma of Las Vegas is clearly becoming a thing of the past.