The Oakland Raiders are still looking for a permanent home, and Las Vegas could be in the cards.
Continue for updates.
Davis Comments on Las Vegas, Plans for '16 Season
Friday, Feb. 5
"First off, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," Raiders owner Mark Davis said, per Janie McCauley of the Associated Press.
Davis' "No. 1 plan" is for the Raiders to play at the O.co Coliseum in 2016, according to Rachel Swan of the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Right now we're trying to get a one-year lease extension with the Oakland Coliseum," Davis said.
NFL Sends Memo to Teams Regarding Raiders and Las Vegas
Saturday, Jan. 30
Albert Breer of NFL Network passed along the NFL's message to teams regarding the Raiders' interest in Las Vegas:
There have been reports over the last day about a proposal to construct a new stadium in Las Vegas in connection with a possible move of the Raiders to Las Vegas. If your club owner or executives are asked about this, there is no need to comment. If any comment is offered, please keep the following points in mind:
1. All decisions regarding the location of teams are made by the full membership. Three-fourths of the member clubs must approve any team move.
2. No proposal made to the league. It would be speculative to suggest that your club would or would not support such a proposal. If such a proposal is made, it would be considered under the league's relocation policies.
3. There is no prohibition under league rules on a team moving to any particular city. Any proposal for relocation would be evaluated based on the same standards as apply to any proposed move. Those standards are well-known, having just been applied in connection with relocation proposals to Los Angeles.
Davis Exploring Stadium Options in Las Vegas
Friday, Jan. 29
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported, "Raiders owner Mark Davis is in Las Vegas now to meet with Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson about his support of a stadium in town."
On Thursday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com wrote, "UNLV president Len Jessup wrote in a confidential memo leaked earlier Thursday that representatives of the Raiders will be in Las Vegas on Friday to check out potential stadium sites."
Davis responded to the news, per Gutierrez: "In typical Raider fashion, I can neither confirm nor deny."
Earlier Thursday, Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Las Vegas Sands Corp. could support a $1 billion domed stadium on land that UNLV bought. Gutierrez, citing company officials, said Davis will meet with Adelson. Las Vegas Sands' senior vice president of government relations and community development Andy Abboud added the project was likely to continue regardless of whether the Raiders moved.
The Rebels are also looking for a new football stadium, since they have played in Sam Boyd Stadium since 1971, and the Raiders could join them at a potential new home. Gutierrez, citing Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, passed along part of the memo from Jessup:
Correspondingly, the Sands leadership team let us know that officials from the Oakland Raiders are scheduled to travel to Las Vegas and tour locations around the valley for a potential new home, and they have asked us to meet them at our 42-acre site on Friday morning to answer questions about that site.
Gutierrez noted the Raiders don't have a lease for a home stadium for the 2016 campaign, though many expect them to play in Oakland for at least another year. The Raiders could also join the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California, if the San Diego Chargers elect to pass on that opportunity.
While Las Vegas at least sounds like a potential solution for Davis, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk implied it is probably more of a bargaining tool in an effort to convince Oakland to subsidize a new stadium, especially since the NFL has not been pro-Vegas in recent years because of the city's ties to gambling:
However, the NFL previously has made clear that it has no interest in moving a team to Las Vegas, due to the legality of sports gambling there. ... The NFL has yet to throw water on the idea of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, possibly in an effort to get Oakland's attention. … It's likely just a matter of time before the league makes it clear that the Raiders won't be permitted to move to Las Vegas.
So the folks in Oakland, who have played this game of poker very well so far, aren't about to freak out over the Raiders' latest empty threat.
Perhaps Davis can at least refine his bluffing skills in the country's gambling capital while he is there.