The Raiders’ bid to move to Las Vegas hit a roadblock this week when Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson pulled out of a deal to partner with the team on the construction of a stadium.
Goldman Sachs was also involved in the project, but the loss of a local leader appears to be a big hit to the team’s chances of getting league approval for such a move. The first question at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference on Wednesday was whether the league believes Las Vegas is a viable location for an NFL team.
“We haven’t made a determination about Las Vegas as an NFL market,” Goodell said. “That’s part of the relocation process. The Raiders submitted an application, it’s one that we’re considering carefully but there’s a great deal of work to be done. There are several elements of that. Financing the stadium is just one, obviously the stadium project itself, the depth of the market — All of those are things that we’ve studied over the last several months. That will increase in intensity over the next month or so.”
Goodell said that he believes the NFL can coexist with gambling, but said that the league did not believe that having a casino take an ownership stake in either a team or a stadium is consistent with league policies.
Goodell was also asked if San Diego could be a viable option for the Raiders in the event that the Las Vegas bid fell through. The team has reportedly heard from the city about that possibility. Goodell reiterated his earlier comment that the league is “disappointed” that they left San Diego, but that any thought of a team returning to the city would “have to find a solution to” a stadium problem that Goodell said has existed for 15 years.