Looks like momentum is gathering for the Oakland Raiders to possibly make the move to Las Vegas in what could become the second big pro sports franchise for the gambling capital of the world.
While it’s still a long way off and nothing is finalized, the wheels are certainly in motion for the Raiders to join the NHL expansion franchise (which is still to be named) as Vegas’ two major sports teams. So far, the Raiders have applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to trademark the “Las Vegas Raiders” name. Also too, applications have been made for other items and merchandise for naming rights of the franchise in Vegas.
Raiders owner Mark Davis had originally planned on moving the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles, but the NFL denied the relocation, and allowed the St. Louis Rams to move to L.A. instead, for the upcoming season. So Davis is now looking into Las Vegas as a relocation site, with plans already in motion for a new $2 billion domed stadium, which would likely be situated west of the Las Vegas Strip.
Public Funding May be Needed
Vegas backers for the stadium project are the Las Vegas Sands Casino Company and Majestic Realty, who are asking for $750 million in public funding to go towards the stadium’s construction.
Looks like stadium representatives have locked in on two parcels of land south of Mandalay Bay, and they’ve gone so far as to sign a preliminary deal for their top spot, a 62-acre plot just west of Interstate 15. The other proposed location would be at Bali Hai Golf Club, which is between the Interstate and the Strip.
Potential Raiders Move to Vegas Still Needs NFL Approval
Any team relocation needs the approval of three-quarters of NFL owners, so developers are rushing to prepare their pitch by January, when the owners next meet. But it’s clear Raiders ownership does not want to stay in Oakland because they can’t get a deal to build a much-needed new stadium there.
Naturally, if the Raiders are seeking public funding, they need a way to raise that much cash. The proposal is to increase the Vegas area room hotel tax and create a possible taxation district around the stadium. So far the biggest critic is the Culinary Union, which argues the Sands Casino company the NFL can afford the $750 million on their own.
The stadium recommendation and proposal will go to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval by the end of September.
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By Leslie Hoke
Las Vegas Homes By Leslie
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