By Matt Bagdat,
Sports Business Editor
After months of speculation and rumors, the NFL made a much-awaited announcement this past week.
On Monday March 27th, the league’s owners approved the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas by a vote of 31-1. While the team originally had fears about leaving their passionate fan base to move to a city with all sorts of distractions, the franchise feels that it is in their best interests.
As reported by Will Brinson of CBSsports, the team will still be playing in Oakland for the 2017 season, and could potentially stay there until the 2019 season. The team has two one-year lease options for Oakland, so it will be interesting to see how Raiders executives handle the situation.
According to an article by the New York Times, the team is expected to move into “a nearly $2 billion sta-dium with $750 million in public financing” by 2020. The team is also being loaned money by both Bank of America and the NFL itself. The Raiders’ new stadium is expected to be built near McCarran International Airport in downtown Las Vegas.
This is yet another attempt by the NFL to expand its horizons. Moving to Las Vegas has its risks, but it can certainly pay huge dividends for the league, which has seen multiple franchises relocate recently. “We know that some fans will be disappointed and angry. But we hope they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches, and staff,” said Mark Davis, the principal owner of the Raiders. The move certainly has angered some fans, but it is only a matter of time until we see the Las Vegas Raiders in action. Until then, fans must enjoy the team’s days in Oakland, because they are certainly numbered.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 print edition.
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