The Oakland Raiders conditionally received approval from the NFL for relocation to Las Vegas.
NFL Owners approved the Raiders quest for Vegas with a 31-1 vote in favor of relocation. Only the Miami Dolphins voted against the Raiders’ move. This marks the NFL’s third franchise to relocate in 15 months.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said the team’s greatness is in the future. He thanked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL Owners, Las Vegas Legislature and Sheldon Adelson via a press conference after the announcement. Adelson was in the initial financing plan for the stadium, but he was later removed.
Davis added that Oakland will always be a part of the Raiders’ DNA. The team plans to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018 until the new stadium opens in 2020. Further, the organization would love to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.
Speaking of Super Bowl aspirations, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr echoed desires to win a title for Oakland.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) March 27, 2017
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, also a Calif. native, said he had mixed emotions about the move too. Still, Del Rio said his mission to win remains the same.
Statement from head coach (and East Bay native) Jack Del Rio on Raiders relocation. pic.twitter.com/mMTO6H69LQ
— Scott Bair (@BairCSN) March 27, 2017
Either way, the Raiders are expected to pay less than $400 million for the right to make the move. The team has an option to build the stadium on 63 acres at Russell Road and Interstate 15, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Otherwise, the Raiders could play in Sam Boyd Stadium until the new Las Vegas stadium opens in 2020. The new stadium will be a $1.9 billion domed stadium.
Until then, Davis said he will detail his reasons for leaving Oakland in the coming days. The Raiders owner also told USA Today that he would not increase personal security. He also said that season ticket holders could get refunds if they request them.
Goodell addressed the Raiders leaving Oakland, per USA Today. The NFL Commissioner said that the NFL and Oakland had not identified a viable solution. He said it was a disappointment.
His letter came after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wrote a letter requesting a postponement of the vote. After relocation, she said that the fans deserved better. Schaaf said she that her arched for Raider Nation.
However, she was proud to stand firm and refuse public money to subsidize stadium construction. Moreover, Schaaf said she did not choose between the football and baseball franchises.
The Raiders have been in Oakland for 44 of the team’s 57 seasons. For the last 22 years, the Silver and Black played in Oakland. They played 13 seasons in Los Angeles until they moved back to Oakland in 1995. The Raiders kicked off their first season in Oakland in 1960, as a member of the AFL.