Roger Goodell Comments on Raiders' Potential Move to Las Vegas

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Roger Goodell Comments on Raiders' Potential Move to Las Vegas
Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

As the Oakland Raiders' future home remains up in the air, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is not opposed to the franchise making a move to Las Vegas. 

Speaking on The Rich Eisen Show, via John Breech of CBSSports.com, Goodell said the Raiders' fate lies with the owners: "Ultimately, it's the ownership's decision. It requires 24 of the 32 owners to approve any relocation to any market."

However, Goodell noted that any speculation about where the Raiders could end up is "premature" right now and "there are specific issues that would need to be discussed in the context of Las Vegas."

The Raiders were hoping for a return to Los Angeles in 2016, but they withdrew their request to relocate on Jan. 12. NFL owners ultimately approved the Rams' move to L.A. for the 2016 season, with the Chargers granted the first opportunity to join them after next season. 

According to Jim Trotter of ESPN.com, the Raiders are next in line to join the Rams in L.A. if the Chargers decline their option. 

Even though it's not official the Raiders will return to Oakland next season, owner Mark Davis told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News the team is finalizing a one-year lease to play at O.co Coliseum. 

After that, however, the Raiders could be on the move. Davis recently took a trip to Las Vegas for a meeting with Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson:

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation has proposed a $1 billion domed stadium in hopes of possibly luring an NFL team to the city, according to Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

That project is just in the conceptual stage right now, but the economics would appeal greatly to the Raiders because Breech noted they currently have "zero public money" for a potential new stadium. 

While the NFL doesn't want any of its teams or employees to be associated with gambling to protect the integrity of the game, the league sent a memo to all 32 teams saying there is "no prohibition under league rules on a team moving to any particular city," per ESPN.com news services.

Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post does think the Raiders' potential new name has a certain ring to it:

The Raiders' long-term future remains very much unclear at the moment, but within the next 12 months, there is going to be some resolution to the situation. The franchise has been in Oakland since 1995 after moving from L.A.

Las Vegas certainly appears to have the resources and motivation to lure a professional franchise to the city, and the NFL isn't standing in the Raiders' way. It's going to be a fascinating year on the business side of the sport.   

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