The Raiders intend to leave Oakland for Las Vegas. Despite the best efforts of the league office (which ultimately haven’t been all that good) to make the case for keeping the team where it is, owner Mark Davis has $750 million in public money waiting for him in Nevada, and nada in California.
As mentioned on Sunday’s edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the current view in league circles is that the Raiders “definitely” will move to Las Vegas. Ultimately, it will be difficult if not impossible for the NFL to get nine owners to oppose relocation, especially with the effort to compare Las Vegas to an existing market resulted in the league office pointing to Indianapolis.
Few would confuse Indianapolis with Las Vegas, and it’s going to take a lot more than that to get more than 25 percent of all owners to take a stand against the team’s desire to leave.
As to the difficulties that Davis and Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson have experienced in reaching an agreement, one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it simply, and bluntly: Davis will find someone else (or multiple someones) to stand in Adelson’s shoes, if Adelson doesn’t want to do a deal.
However it all works out, it’s looking like Davis will be out of Oakland. But while the Chargers are expected to make their move to Los Angeles immediately, the Raiders could spend up to two more years in Oakland as their new stadium is built in Las Vegas.
Look for a final decision to be made in early 2017. Barring a major and unexpected shift, look for that decision to be the creation of the Las Vegas Raiders.