Oakland appears to be on the outside looking in when it comes to keeping their football team in the Bay area.
A possible Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas took another step toward reality when it was revealed that the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee is ready to commit $750 million of public funds toward a football stadium that will lure a second professional sports franchise to the city, according to a report at NBC Sports.
Team owner Mark David is already on record as pledging $500M to the proposed project that is estimated to cost about $1.35 billion. Developers would have to kick in the difference to make it happen.
The retractable dome stadium is expected to be built on a 42-acre tract of land bordering McCarran Airport, just minutes from downtown Las Vegas. It will have a capacity of 65,000, which includes 100 luxury suites and 6,000 club seats.
Davis has made no secret about moving his team out of the Oakland Alameda Coliseum because of its current conditions, and he would not have to share a market like he does now with the 49ers. He has a cozy relationship with mogul Sheldon Adelson, who is said to be willing to throw in as much as $150M toward helping draw the Raiders to his city.
Oakland had received a pledge of up to $650 million from Davis and the NFL, but the stumbling block has been how the city would make up the difference. They made it clear that public financing was not going to be part of the construction and infrastructure costs. Davis now has everything in place to make the move, and the NFL appears to be on board even though they were originally against putting a team in a gambling town.
There could be a couple of glitches that could derail the entire Las Vegas relocation. Just because the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee has put their stamp on the deal doesn’t mean it will get legislative approval to move forward. And there are questions how committed Davis is to actually pulling the Raiders out of Oakland. Either way, the Raiders and Davis will be in a new building sometime in the near future.