PHOENIX, AZ – On Monday, at the NFL league meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, team owners voted 31-1 to approve the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas.
The only team voting against the move were the Miami Dolphins.
The Raiders will mostly likely play in Oakland until the construction of the Las Vegas stadium is complete in 2020.
“I have mixed feelings,” Raiders Owner Mark Davis said. “I love Oakland and I love the fans.“
Davis and the league office have worked for a decade to get the Raiders a new stadium in Oakland, but to no avail. Their current stadium is outdated and falling apart.
“We never want to see a team relocate,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The owners feel we went the extra mile to find a solution in Oakland. We worked hard to find a solution.”
But with Oakland not offering a workable plan, Goodell and most owners decided the time was right for the Raiders to make this move.
“This is an important move for us and to bring stability to the Raiders long-term,” Goodell said.
While the Raiders will definitely play in Oakland the next two years in accordance with their current lease, their 2019 home is unclear. The current football stadium in Las Vegas, Sam Boyd Stadium, isn’t up to NFL standards. However, there’s a good chance they extend their Oakland lease an extra year.
But Davis doesn’t want his team to be called a “lame-duck” in Oakland.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘lame-duck,’” Davis said. “We still represent the Raider Nation. I’d love to bring a championship to Oakland (in the next few years).”
Disappointed Oakland fans can get season ticket refunds if they’d like.
“If fans have given deposits, we will be happy to refund them,” Davis said. “Well not happy.”
What about the temptations and distractions Las Vegas presents to young NFL football players; gambling, night clubs, call girls, and so forth?
“We have talked about that,” said Davis, but didn’t given any specific details how they will deal with the decadence.
But, he’ll likely have four years to figure that out.
“We wish the Raiders and Mark Davis well,” said Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair. “We regret that Oakland fans will be disappointed.”