Oakland Raiders Move to Las Vegas Seems Probable as Owners Seek to Extend CBA for Funding
After months of uncertainty regarding the future of the Oakland Raiders, a move to Las Vegas now seems probable. The Nevada legislature passed a tax increase on hotel rooms to help pay for the $1.9 billion dome the Raiders will soon call home.
Conservatives opposed the tax increase, liberals didn’t like the idea of giving money to a billionaire, but at the end of the day, Nevada managed to get the two-thirds support and push the bill through. Governor Brian Sandoval is expected to sign the deal come Monday.
“I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis in a statement released by the team. “All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation.”
The $1.9 billion for the stadium is broken up over $750 million from Nevada, $650 from billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, and $500 million from the Raiders, $200 million of which will be loaned by the NFL through the stadium credits funding in the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The only problem is all of the stadium credits in the 10-year CBA signed in 2011have been exhausted. As a result, owners are now asking for an extension to help secure money for the Raiders and possibly the San Diego Chargers.
The proposed extension comes with its own set of problems, however, especially in light of growing disdain around the league for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his authority over disciplinary matters. NFL Players Association president and Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Eric Winston said last year that he can’t imagine any new deal that doesn’t include a significant change to Goodell’s power.
The Raiders would like to play in Vegas come the 2020 season. Maybe the move will be a blessing for the rest of the league if they can loosen Goodell’s death grip on the league.