While the Raiders relocation saga dominates the news, what are the outcomes, and what are the odds those outcomes become reality, as a potential NFL looms in the coming weeks? One thing is certain; it will be difficult to separate emotion from fact, as this rollercoaster ride nears the loopy finish.
Raiders Get The 24 Votes.
Mark Davis has secured the 650 million dollar gap for the proposed 1.9 billion dollar stadium in Las Vegas. Brokering a deal with Bank of America as the sole lender erases the awkwardness of multiple investors. Bank of America owns a long recent history of involvement in several stadium projects. They present the clearest path to success. I expect league owners to not turn down this proposal at the meetings in Phoenix. While this is the most likely situation, Vegas doesn’t feel like a done deal. Obstacles still exist. For instance, as the land lease and the stadium agreement aren’t signed yet. This means the window of relocation is an inch or two from completely shutting out the Stay in Oakland fans; they are a resilient bunch, and a miracle is all they need. Not sure if they have one left.
Likelihood of a YES vote: 85%
The vote for relocation can actually get pushed back to May. What does this mean, moving forward? It could be a moot point, as the Raiders work hard with the Clark County Stadium Authority, and UNLV to get the intangibles of the lease done.
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According to the Sheldon Adelson owned, Las Vegas Review Journal, in an article titled, “RTC Officials Want the Raiders to Pay for Proposed Stadium Road Projects”, Clark County Commissioner and RTC board member, Chris Giunchigliani expresses doubt. Another subtle warning towards Davis to not forget the locals. Yet, Giunchigliani never wanted taxpayer money to construct a stadium. Something tells me Adelson began stirring the relocation pot over the Raiders leaving him out. From time to time, his media outlets express his opinion. Plus, he essentially runs the Vegas media.
A delay in the vote brings hope for the Oakland fans, anything to slow the inevitable feels like a victory. Similarly, with the Fortress Group and the City of Oakland extending their exclusive negotiating agreement until 2018, thus locking the Raiders out for another year, the league may just vote on Las Vegas in May, anyway.
Likelihood of a DELAYED vote: 50%
League votes NO on Vegas
It would be poetic justice for the original Raider fan base to claim this victory. Not to mention, Al’s team has always prided itself as professional sports’ true underdog.
Could this scenario actually happen? Sure. In this case, Mark Davis returns to square one, pre-Carson, playing on a dirt field, in an aging stadium. However, an aging stadium filled with great football memories. But, let’s separate emotional fandom from the facts. Mayor Libby Schaaf remains steadfast on her stance about giving control of the Coliseum land to the Raiders. As a result, I would expect Davis to seek out other moves to either San Diego or San Antonio.
Will the league’s 32 owners turn down the Raiders proposal to move to Vegas? Frankly, I don’t see nine voters saying no to Mark Davis and his quest to build a 65,000 seat stadium in Southern Nevada. Although, anything could happen when there’s a chance, and a very small one, at that. Waiting is difficult, especially for the fans. Yet, the vote is up to the owners.
Likelihood of a NO vote: 15%