As Oakland continues to show no willingness to subsidize a new Raiders in stadium, the Raiders keeping looking for ways to squeeze the the town’s acorns.
San Antonio didn’t make Oakland flinch. And no one currently is taking a move to San Diego seriously.
Enter Las Vegas.
Via Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Raiders owner Mark Davis and Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson are scheduled to meet on Friday, possibly to discuss stadium details.
The Sands is proposing a $1 billion stadium on 42 acres near UNLV, where the school’s team — and an NFL franchise — would play.
“We are moving forward with the stadium concept with or without an NFL team,” Sands’ senior vice president of government relations and community development Andy Abboud said Thursday. “We see a lot more opportunities — conference championships, bowl games, NFL exhibition football, boxing, soccer, neutral site games, and music festivals. There is an entire segment out there.”
It all sounds intriguing, intriguing enough to make “Las Vegas Raiders” into a Thursday night trending topic on Twitter. However, the NFL previously has made clear that it has no interest in moving a team to Las Vegas, due to the legality of sports gambling there. The league consistently has opposed the expansion of legalized gambling in states like New Jersey and Delaware, and the NFL said in 2013 that it’s unlikely that the league would stage the Pro Bowl or sanction any other game to be played in Las Vegas.
The NFL has yet to throw water on the idea of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, possibly in an effort to get Oakland’s attention. But last year the NFL shut down an effort by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to host a fantasy-football convention at a non-gambling facility owned by, you guessed it, the Las Vegas Sands. It’s likely just a matter of time before the league makes it clear that the Raiders won’t be permitted to move to Las Vegas.
So the folks in Oakland, who have played this game of poker very well so far, aren’t about to freak out over the Raiders’ latest empty threat.