John Mara changes his tune on Las Vegas

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When the NFL’s owners got together in March, Giants co-owner John Mara sent an ominous message regarding a possible move of the Raiders to Las Vegas. In two months’ time, Mara has revised his position. Significantly.

During the annual gathering two months ago, Mara said that “most owners” would view Vegas as a “non-starter.” Last week, Mara offered a more middle-of-the-road assessment of the possibility that the Raiders would secure the 24 votes necessary to approve a Vegas move.

“[U]ntil there is actually a presentation with all the pros and cons, I wouldn’t bet one way or the other at this point,” Mara said last week (pun probably not intended), via Jenny Vrentas of

“I’m open-minded,” Mara added. “I would want to hear a presentation about it and the pros and cons, and obviously there are some concerns, but I am not going to rule it out.”

Several others also were polled. Texans owner Bob McNair sounds supportive, which isn’t a surprise given that one of the other alternatives is to shoehorn the Raiders into San Antonio, which is currently Texans and Cowboys turf. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is more concerned about the size of the market than the stuff that goes on within it, 49ers CEO Jed York supports the Raiders finding a new stadium anywhere (possibly since that would mean never being forced to share space with the 49ers), and Jets owner Woody Johnson likes the fact that the Nevada taxes are either low or non-existent.

None of those owners, or any others, have suggested that gambling would be a “non-starter.” Instead, it currently appears that the presence of gambling in Las Vegas is actually a non-issue for at least 24 owners, possibly more.

49 responses to “John Mara changes his tune on Las Vegas

  1. John Mara change$ hi$ tune on La$ Vega$.

    Weird. I wonder what happened.

  2. Translation: I was explained how much cash would fall on my lap if it would go trough.

  3. At this point, gambling is a red herring. New Jersey has a gambling based economy in Atlantic City yet is still home to two NFL teams. And the same goes for many other states. Las Vegas doesn’t actually have a stadium yet and you can question how well the local populace will embrace the team. But, to rule out a city because it is home to a number of casinos would mean relocating a whole bunch of NFL franchises.

  4. Goodell must have pulled the pictures of Mara and the other owners he has locked away. How else could one explain him still having a job.

  5. Unless the City of Oakland gets it together and finalizes stadium plans I think it is highly likely Vegas will be the Raider venue. Vegas is now mainstream entertainment oriented and a perfect fit for a football team. Season ticket holders could come from anywhere in the US. It’s so cheap to fly into Vegas, get a hotel room and go to the game on Sunday. Obviously it would be a huge plus economically for Vegas. You know Vegas will build a top notch Stadium in no time flat…

  6. mara is constantly talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    a total phony and nowhere near his principled father.

    same with rooney

  7. Vegas is the entertainment capital of the WORLD. “Tiny” minded commentators should let that sink in before making sweeping generalizations that show their ignorance.

  8. Unfortunately Mara has very little credibility. It is unclear to me why he is positioned as an owner with influence…he has not demonstrated any leadership in the host of issues facing the NFL – from concussiongate to deflategate to Las Vegas.

  9. Mara must have forgot the free 9 figure transfer check he gets to cash for doing nothing but telling which account he wants it added to.
    NFL FIFA ….business as usual

  10. What is with all this “tiny market” stuff. Las Vegas is the 29th most populous city in the US and has the 30th largest metro area. Last time I checked, Green Bay, New Orleans, Jacksonville, and Buffalo are all smaller than that. Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Charlotte are all about the same size. It seems smaller because there aren’t any professional teams there.

  11. chitown12 says:
    May 30, 2016 2:39 PM
    Unfortunately Mara has very little credibility. It is unclear to me why he is positioned as an owner with influence…he has not demonstrated any leadership in the host of issues facing the NFL – from concussiongate to deflategate to Las Vegas.

    Appearance is everything. The Mara’s, like the Rooney’s, are considered football royalty. For better or worse (Giants fan here and I vote worse) Mara is the most visible owner of the premier team in the nation’s largest market. There’s no shortage of media around to broadcast his every utterance and over the years that has manifested itself into an unearned level of gravitas. Despite the fact that time and again John has shown he is no Wellington even the normally brutal NY media usually let’s him skate, the league office has found that comes in very handy indeed.

  12. Who anointed John Mara as NFL royalty, whose prime task is to steer the other owners? He is a wealthy idiot and consistently wrong.

  13. Man a weekend in Vegas, room at the Wynn, dinner at Texas De Brazil, gambling, clubbing, hanging with the crew, then the game on Sunday. Talk about a weekend vacation for the ages!

  14. uglydingo says:
    May 30, 2016 3:26 PM
    Who anointed John Mara as NFL royalty, whose prime task is to steer the other owners? He is a wealthy idiot and consistently wrong.

    See the second post above yours. Apparently perception becomes reality even in the billionaire owners club. The collecting a check owners follow his lead because it would be unseemly to appear they are being steered directly by the help but they know Mara is never more than half a step removed from 345 Park Ave’s directives. It is no doubt more comfortable for them to believe they are trusting the judgement of their well informed and respected fellow owner than being manipulated by the hired help. Meanwhile the cash keeps rolling in so things must all be good, right?

  15. Mara just realized he’s only one mouth of the green, 32-headed monster that runs the NFL (guess what part Goodell is).

  16. When Jerry showed that ignorant turd the numbers, he flipped. This half measure statement is the prelude to full support coming later.

  17. Don’t get distracted by team allegiances. The owners are all on the same team.

    John Mara is part of a group of people who run a business that generates billions of dollars. And some of you wonder why his opinion is valued?

    He and a very small group of people know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

  18. So the “never in Vegas” cabal has been compromised. Fancy that!

    Another truth exposed. Goodell is the puppet master. The owners are the puppets. Goodell learned the process early in life, when his father was dumped as party Senate nominee after having been appointed senator just a few years prior. The puppet masters doing the appointing and firing were a powerful group of political party controllers. The same type of control exists today at all levels of government, industry, military, associations etc. Same with the NFL.

    Goodell learned during his father’s ouster that having the title means nothing. Leading A or even The cabal means nothing. It’s the puppet master that has all the controls. And that is Goodell.

    So sure there are still guys like Mara that because of their ownership position, they are the chairman of such and such committee and therefore believe they are a part of the all and mighty. Until Goodell does his puppet work with the other owners, and then quietly advises Mara how to modify his previous statement. Because even billionaires don’t want to leave millions on the table and that is exactly what Las Vegas represents.

    Look Mara is not a fool but neither is he a brilliant or self made man. He has degrees in marketing and law. So he certainly has the education to know what’s going on. But he has never had to work for anything and hasn’t. With AL Davis gone, Mara pretends that he was able to stand up to him and continues to imply he did then and continues now by trying to stop Al’s son from moving to Vegas. So he shoots off his mouth about how it’s a non-starter. Until Goodell says otherwise.

    I mean it would be all so entertaining if it wasn’t ruining football. But it is, so the entertainment value is not worth the cost.

    Oh Mara, just get off your high horse. Those of us who do the menial tasks of the day are not impressed.

  19. Let the Raiders go to Vegas. Their history, bad boy persona and Sin City is a smoking hot marriage. The Davis family has done everything possible to make it work in Oakland and it is just not possible. For those of you who have never been to Oakland, it is almost like an impoverished third world country. Simply no money and a very bad azz dangerous place after night fall.

    Give the Raiders a fresh start in Vegas. Despite their poor performances over the last many years, they are an extremely iconic NFL landmine. As an avid lifelong Bronco’s fan, win or lose, football wouldn’t be the same without the Raiders. Bring it!

  20. Wine, women, and song (not to mention gambling and snorting). Ahhh! Such is the life of a lonely, young, rich, single pro ball player with oodles of spare time on his hands.
    Can’t wait to see the police blotter countdown

  21. Who cares what the jerk Mara says? He is the head of the New York Nightmara crime syndicate and deserves nothing but contempt.

  22. Talk about a fantastic move! The Raiders and Vegas are a drive-thru marriage made in heaven! All you naysayers like 2016stockmarketcrash and jspicoli have your heads so far up your asses you can lick your own prostates. Maybe Mara will let you tickle his also. Vegas will be a virtual gold mine for the Raiders. They’ll roll out the red carpet and help fund a gorgeous new state of the art stadium. Zinnsand21 and badmoonrison have the Raider’s end game perfectly drawn out. Season ticket holders will come from all over the country, just like their fan base. Davis Jr will laugh all the way to the bank! $$$$$$

  23. It was either the fish in the mail, or the horses head in his bed that changed his mind.

  24. While I am a lifetime Giants fan I have to admit my confusion
    When NJ tried to get sports books in its casinos the NFL went into full fight mode to stop it.
    Note NJ casinos are more then 2 hours away from Metlife.
    Now the NFL says lets move to the city has sports books?

    Sports books in NJ casinos would have been a big money maker for both the casinos and the State yet the NFL did not want it and now they do?

  25. wendyohno says:
    May 30, 2016 8:46 PM
    For those of you who have never been to Oakland, it is almost like an impoverished third world country
    – – – – – – – — – – – –
    yep a third world country where the median home price is $601,000. Fact is you probably personally couldn’t afford to live in Oakland.

  26. We should be long past the ideas of Casinos being a hold up.
    Only thing I could see giving some issues are the conference TV contracts are going to be more even more unbalanced. NFC/Fox now have the Los Angeles market (#2 in the country up from #21 STL ). Raiders share the bay area market with the Niners ( which is #6) So both NFC/Fox and AFC/CBS have that at this moment but if the Raiders move to LV ( which is #40 market ) that’s a significant drop and would add even more imbalance that the NFL may not be thrilled about and networks may want to go back a redo the contracts early.
    I maybe reading a bit much into it.

  27. 2016StockMarketCrash
    Las Vegas is a tiny low income community you can’t rely on tourists to support an NFL team.
    Terrible idea.

    Vegas has a higher population than Oakland. Don’t know where you get your “facts” but maybe check them next time before posting in a public forum. Just a suggestion.

  28. NFL sent out an official memo

    Notice: To all NFL franchiese; no longer do we need to act as if we do not endorse, rely on, and fully support gambling…the jig is up. Hence, no longer do we have to pretend we don’t think a franchise in Vegas is a fantastic idea

  29. The NFL and Las Vegas should have one goal:

    To make 2016 the Raiders last season in Oakland. Oakland doesn’t have the $$$ to help the Raiders get a new stadium. If they did, the Raiders would be playing in a new stadium.

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