With the Oakland Raiders in need of a home, the franchise is reportedly considering a move to Las Vegas. Owner Mark Davis is scheduled to meet with Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, who has hopes of bringing the Raiders to Sin City.
Adelson has plans to build a $1 billion stadium on the 42 acres of land that was acquired by UNLV in December. UNLV President Len Jessup initially said the land would be used for a “campus village" or a stadium site, and details of the upcoming meeting were revealed when RalstonReports.com, a website run by Las Vegas political pundit Jon Ralston, obtained an email written by Jessup.
"The Sands leadership team let us know that officials from the Oakland Raiders are scheduled to travel to Las Vegas and tour locations around the valley for a potential new home and they have asked us to meet them at our 42-acre site on Friday morning to answer questions about the site," Jessup wrote in the email.
The new stadium would seat 65,000 fans and also be the home of the UNLV football team. Sands' senior vice president of government relations and community development Andy Abboud told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a stadium will be built even if the Raiders don’t commit to playing in the city. The company hopes the new venue will help the city get an NFL team in the near future.
Even if it’s what the organization wants, the Las Vegas Raiders are a longshot to become a reality. The NFL has previously stated that it has no interest in bringing professional football to Las Vegas because of sports gambling, rejecting the idea of playing the Pro Bowl or preseason games in the city. The issue of sports gambling has prevented the city from being home to any team in the four major sports.
But the Raiders are exploring all their options since they don’t even have a home for the 2016 season. At this point, it seems likely that they will play in Oakland for at least one more year, but with no new stadium, the team is seeking long-term solutions.
The Raiders had hoped to share a stadium with the Chargers in Los Angeles, but the NFL approved a relocation to L.A. for the Chargers and Rams instead. With the Chargers likely headed to Los Angeles, San Diego could be an option for the Raiders. The organization has also explored San Antonio, and L.A. would be in play if the Chargers decide not to move.