Roger Goodell on Raiders-to-Las Vegas vote: 'I think we are in pretty good shape' news services ESPN logo
Monday, March 27, 2017

On the eve of the NFL's annual spring meeting in Phoenix, commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that the voting outcome on the Oakland Raiders' proposed move to Las Vegas will be "positive."

"I think we will have a vote, and I think we will have a positive vote. I think we are in pretty good shape," Goodell said.

NFL owners are scheduled to begin discussion Monday at 1 p.m. ET on owner Mark Davis' application to move his franchise to Las Vegas, where city, county and state officials have pledged $750 million in public funding toward a new stadium.

A vote is then scheduled to be taken, after a short break, at approximately 3 p.m. Davis needs at least 24 "yes" votes from the 32 owners to leave the city his franchise has called home for 45 of its 58 seasons, including the past 22.

Goodell's comment comes after the league sent a letter Friday to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf that stated a last-ditch proposal from the city was not a "viable solution."

Several team owners have said this week that they envision Davis getting the required votes to move the team.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, upon arriving to Sunday's opening reception, said Monday is "going to be an exciting day for Vegas," while New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said a Raiders move would be "great."

Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy said he expects the vote to pass.

"I think there will be some discussion, particularly about Las Vegas as a market. I think it's the 40th-biggest city in the country, and you're leaving Oakland, which is obviously a much larger market. So I think there will be some discussion, but I anticipate it will pass," Murphy said.

Murphy added: "The league has done some preliminary analysis and I'm anxious to see some of their more final thoughts on it. It's a growing market. It's entertainment based. It's obviously a lot of visitors. There are some positives. Also, some of the studies of how it's going to grow over the years are encouraging. The biggest issue, quite honestly, in both Oakland and San Diego, both teams were unable to get stadium deals."

Murphy also said that taxpayers are not only putting in $750 million for the stadium but approved an additional $200 million for maintenance over a multi-decade period.

Another owner, speaking anonymously because he is not authorized to speak for the NFL, told The Associated Press: "Not only have no hurdles been made clear to us, but there isn't any opposition to it.''

Added another, also speaking anonymously for the same reasons: "It's going to happen, and the sooner we do it, the better it is for the league and for the Raiders.''

The Raiders would become the second pro franchise in Las Vegas, following the NHL's Golden Knights, who begin play in the fall in the already-built T-Mobile Arena. The Raiders could spend the next two or even three seasons in Oakland before the proposed 60,000-seat stadium -- whose estimated cost has recently dropped from $1.9 billion to $1.7 billion -- is ready.

The Raiders' potential move became more certain earlier this month when Bank of America stepped up with a $650 million loan for Davis. That replaced the same amount the Raiders lost when the league balked at having casino owner Sheldon Adelson involved and he was dropped from the team's plans.

The Raiders would become the third NFL team in the last year to move -- the Los Angeles Rams relocated from St. Louis and the Chargers announced in January they will leave San Diego for L.A.

Leaving the Bay Area is not something new for the Raiders, who played in Los Angeles from 1982-94 before heading back to Oakland. Davis was passed over last year when the owners approved the Rams' relocation and the Chargers exercised their option to join them.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Video