Raiders owner Mark Davis has reiterated his desire to move the storied NFL franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas. On Thursday, Davis revealed that he has pledged $500 million toward the construction of a proposed $1.4 billion domed stadium in Las Vegas.
Davis revealed his plans to fund the state-of-the-art stadium in the gambling city, during the annual meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee at UNLV.
While Nevada is popularly referred to as “the Silver State”, Davis plans to turn it into the “Silver and Black State. “I hope it’s not another 50 years before the Raiders play another game in Las Vegas,” Davis said, while recalling the Raiders’ exhibition game in Las Vegas back in 1964.
Raiders move supported by David Beckham
Incidentally, world renowned soccer star David Beckham was also present at the meeting. “To bring a great organization like the Raiders to Las Vegas is amazing, but it’s bigger than that,” said Beckham, who does a lot of promotional work for Sands Corp. – who have pledged $150 million for the project.
Breakdown of the pledged financing for the Vegas dome stadium:
- $500 million from Raiders ($200 million from NFL loan).
- $150 million from Sands Corp.
- $750 million from tourism taxes.
More than a bargaining chip…
Raiders owner Davis insisted that he wants to make a “lifetime commitment” to the city of Las Vegas and not just use it as a bargaining chip. “We need a home. We need a stadium. That’s what Las Vegas is going to provide us, and it’s going to be a great marriage,” said Davis.
“We’re not using Las Vegas as a bargaining chip. This is real,” added the Raiders owner.
According to ESPN, “The NFL has long shunned Las Vegas, refusing its TV ads and telling players not to make appearances at casinos. But Davis said he believes owners will approve the move if the stadium is built.” Are we going to see a cultural change in the NFL?
“If we give them an offer they can’t refuse, and that’s what we’re talking about now, I don’t see a problem,” said Davis.
In recent weeks, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has softened the league’s stance on Vegas. “Ultimately, that’s a decision of the (Raiders) ownership,” Goodell told “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “There are owners that will feel very strongly about continuing to support our position on gambling. There will be owners that will have a view about whether that’s the best market for us to be in. Whether there’s truly the fan support there. They will look at the stadium alternatives. And I think that’s what you do in any relocation and you do with any stadium alternative.”
Raiders and Oakland have been synonymous with each other for many years. This will be the end of an era.