Raiders' Mark Davis to meet with officials about possible relocation to Las Vegas

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis will attend a meeting with Nevada tourism officials Thursday in Las Vegas to discuss relocating to a proposed domed stadium there, a source in the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development confirmed to ESPN.

Davis is scheduled to appear at the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meeting at 11 a.m. ET Thursday in Las Vegas. The meeting will include more about a $1.3 billion stadium project being proposed by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and real estate agency Majestic Realty.

The Raiders have signed a one-year lease for the 2016 season at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The lease includes two one-year options for 2017 and 2018, but financial developments have added incentives to relocate. The Raiders' rent tripled in the agreement and they lost revenue from stadium naming rights, when opted out of its agreement in early April.

Davis has met with Adelson and toured UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium as a potential temporary home. The location for the proposed Las Vegas stadium is a 42-acre lot on Tropicana Avenue, a few blocks off the Strip.

Davis declined comment to ESPN in regard to Thursday's meeting. Thursday is also the first day of the NFL draft.

Los Angeles remains an option for the Raiders, if the San Diego Chargers elect to remain in San Diego instead of joining the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California.

The Chargers have until Jan. 15, 2017, to decide whether to join the Rams in L.A., according to a relocation agreement between the two teams. The deadline could be extended until Jan. 15, 2018, if a referendum for public financing in San Diego is not approved before Nov. 15 of this year. A $1.8 billion stadium project for the Chargers has been proposed.

While momentum is building for Las Vegas, plenty of steps remain ahead of the Raiders. Officials characterize Thursday's meeting in Nevada as one of multiple workshops held this year focused on future infrastructure projects and potential funding sources. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which includes Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman and UNLV President Len Jessup, among others, has until the end of July to file a formal report of recommendations to Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The NFL has a long-standing opposition to sports betting, legal or illegal, and a few years ago it wouldn't consider holding an exhibition game in Las Vegas.

This spring, after reports of the Raiders' interest in Las Vegas, the NFL sent a memo to the teams, informing members that there is no prohibition under league rulesagainst a team moving to any particular city.