The Oakland Raiders are inching closer toward a potential move to Las Vegas, as a Nevada oversight committee has voted unanimously to approve $750 million in public funding for a stadium.
The best part for Vegas? Their residents, by and large, won’t be paying for it.
“Anytime you use tax money, there’s going to be naysayers because of locals complaining,” Las Vegas Review Journal sportswriter Matt Youmans said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “(People say), ‘We don’t want to make the owners rich.’ That’s not the case at all in this hotel room tax, which is going to be less than a dollar a night on the hotel bill. That’s going to count for $750 million of the approximate $1.9 billion cost of the stadium. Sheldon Adelson is putting up $650 million and the Raiders are putting up $500 million. There’s no bill that the locals have to foot. Vegas is a unique place, obviously.”
Youmans doesn’t believe Mark Davis is posturing, either, or trying to use Las Vegas for leverage in Oakland – or anywhere else.
“I believe him quite a bit,” he said. “Mark Davis is not like his dad, Al, who was more shrewd, more like a car dealer, I guess you could say. Mark Davis is one of these guys you could take at face value. I’ve talked to him many times, and I’ve heard the same thing from people around the league, that Mark’s a pretty honest guy. But really, when you look at the facts, where else does he have to turn? He could be the second team in Stan Kroenke’s castle in Los Angeles. You could be a tenant of Stan Kroenke, which is not really ideal. You don’t want to be the second team in the 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara. Oakland has no money to build a stadium. Far and away the best option for the Raiders is Las Vegas.
“It sounds like the NFL owners are not going to get in the way of this, either,” Youmans continued. ‘They want to see it happen. So it looks like the NFL vote – 24 of 32 owners, which would be the last hurdle to get over – I would say at this point it’s a big favorite for the Raiders and Las Vegas to be a reality.”