Although the Oakland Raiders still need majority support from the NFL’s team owners, it appears that they’re set to embark on moving the franchise to Las Vegas.
On Thursday, the team officially filed its paperwork to enact the move, according to Clark County (Nev.) Commission Chair Steve Sisolak:
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) January 19, 2017
The NFL also confirmed they have received the Raiders’ relocation paperwork.
Our statement re Raiders. pic.twitter.com/Ru4BNulNUK
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) January 19, 2017
Despite a few hangups during the process in regards to funding procedures, the Raiders have mostly been full steam ahead toward moving to Las Vegas for some time now. Raiders owner Mark Davis has had his eyes on Vegas as his eventual destination, even though there had been some talk of San Diego perhaps putting together a last-minute stadium proposal to try to lure the franchise there.
The Raiders are expected to receive the required 24 (of 32) owner votes necessary to approve the move at the owners’ annual meeting in Phoenix in late March. If that passes, the Raiders would be the third NFL franchise to announce a move within the span of a year, with the Rams going to Los Angeles in 2016 and the Chargers moving there last week.
Las Vegas then would have two pro sports teams — along with the NHL’s Golden Knights — after never having any major sports franchises there. The issue of legal sports gambling is a thorny issue for some, but it appears that the NFL, having now hosted games in another city where that’s the case (London), is loosening its long-standing stance against wagering being so geographically close to its games.
The Raiders have a stadium plan in the works for Las Vegas, but reports suggest it might not be ready until the 2020 season.
A look at the proposed stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders. pic.twitter.com/DNokQvLKPy
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 14, 2017
The Raiders’ current lease situation could mean that the team remains in Oakland for the next several seasons. But they appear to be as good as gone in a few years.
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