By Parth Parikh,
Sports Business Writer
For years, the Oakland Raiders have been looking for a place they can call home. Since 1966, the team has struggled to stay in one place and have moved twice in a span of twelve years. Starting in Oakland in 1966 to Los Angeles in 1982, only to return to Oakland in 1995, the Raiders and their fans are used to sharing stadiums with other teams from other sports. But the wait might finally be over, and this January proves to be the final obstacle for the Oakland Raiders in their journey to become the Las Vegas Raiders.
On October 14, Nevada lawmakers approved a $1.9 billion stadium proposal that would be located south of the Las Vegas Strip and would be the future home of not only the Las Vegas Raiders but also the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) football team. The stadium plan was presented by Mark Davis, owner of the Raiders, and supported by Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands CEO and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who will fund $650 million to the stadium project.
In addition to Mr. Adelson’s contributions, the Oakland Raiders organization will supply another $500 million, which is split into a $200 million loan from the National Football League and a $300 million benefit from the seat licenses of the new stadium, in which fans of the new team can “buy seats” to the Las Vegas Raiders games when the new era kicks off. The remaining $750 million to build the stadium will come from a bond sale backed by an increase in hotel room taxes within Clark County, which includes the hotels in Las Vegas.
As for the current home of the Raiders, Oakland, there is still optimism that there can be a deal reached where the Raiders get the stadium of their dreams in a location which is readily accessible to fans in the Bay Area. Recently, the San Francisco 49ers moved their home from the famous Candlestick Park in San Francisco down south to the Santa Clara area, where Levi’s Stadium now stands. This opens up not only an empty ground where a stadium once stood, but also the idea of having the Raiders play in the heart of the Bay Area.
There will be an NFL Owner’s Meeting in January in Houston, in preparation of Super Bowl LI, and there, the owners of all 32 NFL teams will vote if a Las Vegas Raiders plan is feasible and works financially as well. Only then will we see an NFL team in Sin City.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 25th print edition.
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