Raiders seek move to Vegas

The Oakland Raiders are looking to venture into territory that the NFL has never been: Las Vegas. Raiders owner Marc Davis has already met with Nevada tourism officials over building a stadium in Sin City. The proposed stadium would feature a dome, 65,000 seats, and a location just blocks from the Vegas Strip. However, it […]

oakland-raiders-vegas-moveThe Oakland Raiders are looking to venture into territory that the NFL has never been: Las Vegas. Raiders owner Marc Davis has already met with Nevada tourism officials over building a stadium in Sin City.

The proposed stadium would feature a dome, 65,000 seats, and a location just blocks from the Vegas Strip. However, it would also come with a $1.4 billion price tag.

The price is the least of Davis’ worries, though, since the NFL has always taken an anti-gambling stance when it doesn’t serve their purposes. For example, they sued to keep New Jersey from legalizing sports betting over fears that it might affect the New York Giants and New York Jets (both play in Meadowlands, NJ).

But, as ESPN points out, there’s some hypocrisy here because the NFL holds games in the UK, where sports betting is legal everywhere. The league even wants to put a permanent franchise in London, which might give Davis some leeway in negotiating with the NFL.

Another point worth making is that 28 of the league’s 32 teams have marketing deals with daily fantasy sports sites, which is a skill-based form of gambling.

las-vegasIt’s possible that the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) could ban in-state gambling on the professional sports franchise. Major League Baseball has an agreement in place with the NGC not to allow betting on the minor league affiliate Reno Aces. The NBA also made a successful request to keep Vegas sportsbooks from offering lines on the 2007 All-Star Game, which was held in Sin City.

Nevada State Sen. Mark Lipparelli, who once headed the Nevada Gaming Control Board, doesn’t believe that sports betting will have nearly the effect that it once might have on the Raiders’ potential move.

“Frankly, [sports betting] won’t play nearly the role that it might have 20, 25 years ago,” said Lipparelli.

For the time being, the Raiders will stay put in Oakland because they’re still leasing the O.co Coliseum for 2016, and they have options for 2017 and ’18. But Davis thinks that the outdated stadium no longer serves his team’s needs and wants to relocate in the near future.

 

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