The Oakland Raiders could someday be the Las Vegas Raiders if owner Mark Davis gets his way.
Davis said Thursday that he wants to move the team to Las Vegas and pledged $500 million toward the building of a proposed $1.4 billion domed stadium, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
“We have made a commitment to Las Vegas and that’s where it stands,” Davis said during a meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee at UNLV. “If Las Vegas can come through…we’ll be the Las Vegas Raiders.”
Davis went on to say he hopes to turn Nevada, “the Silver State, into the silver and black state.”
Las Vegas Sands Corporation chairman Sheldon Adelson is spearheading the 65,000-seat stadium project. Here’s more from Gutierrez:
With the Raiders pledging $500 million — $200 million from an NFL loan — and the Sands contributing another $150 million, $650 million of the $1.4 billion stadium budget comes from private funds. The rest would be generated by tourism taxes. Backers said Thursday they would ask for a special session of the Nevada Legislature in August to approve diverting some room tax funds for the stadium.
Davis said other sites besides a 42-acre spot owned by UNLV on Tropicana Avenue, across from McCarran International Airport, are being looked at in the search.
Such a project could take three years, and Davis said that in the interim, the Raiders likely would play one preseason game a year at 35,500-seat Sam Boyd Stadium but maintain their home base in Alameda, California, and play home games at the O.co Coliseum.
So don’t worry, Raiders fans. Your team isn’t moving yet.
After getting the short end of the stick in the NFL’s relocation to Los Angeles, Davis is going a different route. But as with any relocation, the NFL owners would have to approve it. And if the Chargers get a new stadium in San Diego, that would open the possibility of the Raiders sharing a stadium with the Rams in Inglewood.
Davis has made the commitment to Las Vegas, but will he follow through?