Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis made an appearance at the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee at UNLV today (April 28) stating that he wants to move the franchise to Las Vegas, even pledging $500 million toward the building of a new domed stadium. Davis, who is the son of famed Raiders owner and NFL icon Al Davis remembers the team once playing an exhibition game in Sin City back in 1964 and hopes to make the city it’s permanent home.
David Beckham, who was also in attendance at the meeting sat with Sands Corp. chairman Sheldon Adelson, is also in favor of building a new stadium, but has his sites set on things more than just American football, wanting to expand Major League Soccer’s presence in Nevada with the possibility of international soccer matches being played there. Of the $1.4 billion that is required to build the new stadium, Sands Corp will contribute $150 million, bringing the total of private funds to $650 million. The remaining portion would be generated by tourism taxes, with the supporters of the the plan stating that they will ask the Nevada Legislature to approve some tax funds for the stadium.
The entire process could take three years to be completed but the NFL’s view of Las Vegas and the city’s legal sports betting might pose a problem for the plan. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to leave up to the rest of the team owners if they would allow a team to be in the gambling city.
Ultimately, that’s a decision of the ownership. There are owners that will feel very strongly about continuing to support our position on gambling. There will be owners that will have a view about whether that’s the best market for us to be in. Whether there’s truly the fan support there. They will look at the stadium alternatives. And I think that’s what you do in any relocation and you do with any stadium alternative. We would love to have our teams stay where they are. I’d love to see the Raiders be able to stay in Oakland and continue to be successful.