Las Vegas Raiders

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Raiders owner to push for Las Vegas Super Bowl 2023 or 2024

CHICAGO — Mark Davis is moving his NFL team to Las Vegas, but isn’t one to discuss odds when predicting what that might mean for the city in terms of hosting global events.

But know this: He’s a member of the league’s Super Bowl committee.

NFL owners on Tuesday advanced the Oakland Raiders even closer to their eventual relocation by approving the lease for a $1.9 billion stadium off Russell Road, causing many to wonder how soon Las Vegas might host the game of Roman numerals.

“Hopefully sooner than later,” Davis said.

It’s eventually going to happen, because when you build the NFL a fancy new stadium nowadays, you are ensured of being awarded its grandest party.

If you build it, they not only will come, but so, too, will the world.

“We got (the stadium) done in a year, so why not a Super Bow in six years?” team president Marc Badain said.

Just a guess: They won’t have much trouble finding options for the halftime show.

How soon could this become reality?

The next round of Super Bowls to be awarded are 2023 and 2024, and Davis said he intends on pursuing the game for Las Vegas in one of those years.

Owners could make such a decision at their spring meetings in May 2018.

“We’re one of 32 teams that could try,” he said. “There you go, getting me to talk odds.”

How much the news regarding the Inglewood, California, project this week might affect the Raiders’ ability to land a Super Bowl during that two-year cycle is unknown, but there is no question the league will re-examine granting the game to teams in the process of building new facilities.

Milli Vanilli — or whoever sang lyrics — was right.

Blame it on the rain.

The stadium to be shared by the Rams and Chargers was set to host Super Bowl LV in 2021, but when it was learned construction would be delayed a year because of a record rainfall in Southern Californian, owners on Tuesday awarded the game to Tampa, Florida.

The Inglewood stadium, now set to open in 2020, will instead host Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

“I’m sure we will meet as a committee and discuss what happened (with Inglewood) and how to handle (awarding Super Bowls to teams building stadiums) in the future,” Davis said. “But, absolutely, we are going to try and bring one to Las Vegas. Hopefully, more than one.”

He has, throughout the relocation process, done his best not to publicly react with overt signs of happiness as things fell in line with Las Vegas and the stadium project, intent on remaining respectful to those open wounds felt by an Oakland fan base suffering from the reality of again losing its team.

But he is obviously pleased with what has transpired, and his peers approving the lease now allows the Raiders to wrap up the financing portion of the project and move toward an anticipated groundbreaking by the first of the year.

Davis is still wearing a boot on his right foot from a recent surgery — “I’ll be ready for training camp,” he said — but you got the idea he was walking on air Tuesday.

“A lot of hard work by some really good people,” he said. “It has been impressive that it has moved fast. It’s amazing. The state of Nevada really took hold of this situation and went for it.”

For this, he and Badain reiterated their commitment to make things right for UNLV in terms of stadium usage and Laborers Union Local 872 when it comes to construction work.

The former still must agree to lease terms, while the latter has been a constant presence at any gathering — official or otherwise — that has involved the Raiders and their quest to make Las Vegas home. A few things have remained constant throughout the process: an intent to make this a good deal for UNLV and lots of folks in hard hats.

“Look, from the first day we showed up in Las Vegas, UNLV and president (Len) Jessup was there with open arms,” Badain said. “We have a great relationship with them and head football coach (Tony) Sanchez. Their new athletic director (Desiree Reed-Francois) worked for us in the 1990s in our legal department. It’s very important to us that UNLV has a spectacular facility to play in.

“We also acknowledge the support from (Local 872) and plan to honor them appropriately.”

Those are more immediate goals.

A long-term one deals with that game of Roman numerals and how fast Davis might persuade his peers to bring one to Southern Nevada.

“I think my (fellow owners) are really happy for us,” Davis said, “but they still want to beat us on Sunday. That’s how this league is.”

It’s also about putting on a spectacular show each February.

Which means it’s not a matter of if for a Super Bowl in Las Vegas, but rather when.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Oakland Raiders-to-Las Vegas coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Future Super Bowls

2018 — U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

2019 — Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

2020 — Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.

2021 — Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

2022 — Los Angeles Stadium, Inglewood, Calif.

Raiders season tickets sell out: They may stick around another year

Aaron Kraw unfurls a banner as Oakland Raiders fans listen to Mayor Libby Schaaf outline a new football stadium plan at a news conference and rally at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Saturday, March 25, 2017, in a last ditch effort to convince NFL owners to vote down a proposal to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas.

The Oakland Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas may not sit well with local officials, but the fans don’t seem to be holding it against them — season tickets for the 2017 campaign have sold out.

Fans’ stampede to shell out for a lame-duck team comes as Raiders owner Mark Davis is hinting he’ll ask to stick around the Oakland Coliseum for an extra season while Nevada builds his Vegas palace. The team’s lease in Oakland runs through the 2018 season, but Davis’ desert dome may not be ready until 2020.

“We haven’t heard anything official, but that’s what we are hearing through the NFL blogs,” said Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland Coliseum Authority.

Members of the authority, run by Oakland and Alameda County, have been lukewarm to the idea of the Raiders playing in the Coliseum in 2019. They say the stadium loses $1 million a year on Raider games, but “keeping the team here means jobs” for Coliseum workers, board member Chris Dobbins noted.

County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, another board member, said the lease would have to be changed before he would consider an extension. “It can’t cost the taxpayers a single cent,” he said.

Board member Larry Reid, an Oakland City Council member who has called on fans to boycott the Raiders, said, “No, no and no,” when asked about extending the team’s lease.

“But then I’m only one vote,” Reid said.

And Dobbins, who’s also got one vote, is open to the idea of a lease extension.

And what’s more, he said, “I renewed my season tickets.”

 

Which was this: He presented to fellow owners in October the $1.9 billion stadium project in Las Vegas and informed them he will apply for relocation in January, going as far to say how continuing to play in Oakland while the stadium was built in Southern Nevada would give his players and their families time to become familiar with the area and not be rushed into a move.

More and more, it appears the Oakland stadium plan is the Hail Mary most assumed the city would throw as a last-ditch effort to avoid losing the Raiders, a proposal NFL officials on Wednesday compared to failed attempts by the team in the past as it relates to a private investor having a window in which to negotiate on the land that would be developed.

It’s not considered a suitable plan by those who matter. Goodell and owners made that point clear.

If we learned anything from the soap opera of the Rams relocating from St. Louis to Los Angeles and that particular stadium plan winning out over one for the Raiders and Chargers, it’s that nothing is decided until votes are counted — and that eleventh-hour changes of heart or allegiances by owners are not uncommon.

So while Oakland officials do what they should in representing their constituents and pursue a stadium plan the NFL and team might consider workable, conjecture and rumor will define the process until doors are closed and votes are officially cast. But it also seems as though one major concern about Las Vegas has been answered in an overly positive manner.

Simply, can the market sustain and support an NFL franchise?

NFL Commissioner Goodell says Las Vegas market has strengths
Las Vegas Review Journal

Be prepared to zip up your parka.

“We’ve had several market studies going on, and (owners) heard from one of our independent market analysts (Wednesday),” Goodell said. “There were some real strengths to the Las Vegas market. It’s clear the Las Vegas market has become more diversified and more broadly involved with entertainment and hosting big events.

“There is a growth to the market. You can see the trajectory and where it’s going when you look at the data. There were some very positive things about it, and we’ll continue to look at it. The Raiders, if they decide they can’t make it work in Oakland and want to file for relocation, that window is open until after the (regular season) until Feb. 15. Those are decisions clubs have to make.”

Some owners, such as Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts, were overly positive about the Las Vegas market. Even those who had some lingering questions, such as Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, agreed that with the current Oakland stadium plan being unworkable, a team “sometimes needs to go where the opportunity is.”

Colts owner Jim Irsay says there’s a ‘real want’ for NFL in Vegas
Las Vegas Review Journal

It all made for this amateur reading of the tea leaves: Davis is full speed ahead on applying for relocation, and getting the 24 votes he would need for approval is more likely than not.

After all, Roger Goodell was actually positive about Las Vegas.