The NFL hasn’t slammed the door on a potential Raiders move to Las Vegas, and for good reason. Eventually, at least 24 owners could indeed vote to approve the relocation from Oakland to Nevada.
That’s why the league previously sent out talking points that don’t rule out the Raiders in Vegas, and it’s why the Commissioner didn’t dismiss the possibility during a press conference following the annual meetings.
As one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT during the league meetings last month, several teams definitely would be against the move, with the opposition primarily coming from old-guard teams like the Giants and Steelers. Still, the thinking is that there are enough new-school owners to not be troubled by the fact that gambling is legal in Las Vegas.
Indeed, the NFL already stages multiple games per year in London, where betting is open and accepted and easily accessible.
This attitude contradicts comments recently made by Giants co-owner John Mara, who believes “most owners” view the move as a “non-starter.” If, however, that were the actual state of affairs and not a manifestation of Mara’s own opposition to the move, wouldn’t the Commissioner have said so last week?
On Friday, Raiders owner Mark Davis returned to Las Vegas, and the casino with which he’d be partnering in a new stadium posted a picture of the visit. Davis has now been there multiple times this year.
The timetable for a potential move from Oakland to Las Vegas isn’t known, and the possibility surely will be used at least at first as a way to get Oakland to make a meaningful effort to keep the Raiders in town. At some point, however, the stadium in which the Raiders currently play will need to be replaced. Some would say that point already has arrived.