The Oakland Raiders have always been an NFL franchise that does things their way. After apparently being left out of the league’s relocation party in Los Angeles, it appears they’ll be looking to blaze a trail of their own to a new city.
Raiders owner Mark Davis reportedly met with Las Vegas businessman Sheldon Adelson on Friday to discuss the merits of a move to Las Vegas. Adelson is the CEO and chairman of Las Vegas Sands, and is looking to partner on a project that could welcome the Raiders to Sin City.
Adelson wants to build a $1 billion domed stadium on the campus of UNLV with the hopes of killing two birds with one stone. The school’s football program has been lobbying to get a new stadium themselves as their 35,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium is out of date. It was built in 1971 and is one of the most dated college football stadiums in the nation.
The other issue is that the stadium is nine miles from campus, which is a bit of an inconvenience for the program. Adelson hopes to use a 42-acre piece of land near Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane, which was recently purchased by the university.
The early projections for the stadium capacity are in the range of 65,000, which would be enough to house an NFL franchise.
The talk of a professional sports franchise in Las Vegas continues to percolate as we’ve now heard about NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL teams interested in making the move over the last two years. It looks like an NHL team could be on the way as talks have turned into action with the construction of the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.
While the idea of a franchise in Las Vegas sounds appealing to many, most of the leagues aren’t on board with that. In particular, the NFL has been dead set against allowing a team to move to Las Vegas as it’s a gambling capital.
At any rate, it looks like the Raiders’ time in Oakland is running out. They’ve tried to get a new stadium to stay in town, they’ve tried to move to Los Angeles and Carson, and now they’re evaluating their options in Las Vegas.
Although Davis maintains that his primary objective is to keep the Raiders in Oakland, those hopes are growing dimmer by the day.