The Raiders released a statement Thursday regarding the news that owner Mark Davis is prepared to pledge $500 million towards a Las Vegas stadium project as long as finances for a stadium comes through.
“The Raiders would like to thank the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and Mayor Goodman for their time today as we continue to explore options for a permanent stadium solution. We appreciate the support and passion of Raiders fans everywhere.”
On Thursday, Raiders owner Mark Davis announced that as long as finances for a stadium in Las Vegas are sound, he’s prepared to pledge $500 million to the stadium project, per Paul Gutierrez.
“We have made a commitment to Las Vegas and that’s where it stands,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez. “If Las Vegas can come through…we’ll be the Las Vegas Raiders.”
Davis added that he wants to turn Nevada into “the Silver State into the Silver and Black State.”
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) April 28, 2016
This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, seeing as previous reports had indicated that Davis was prepared to pledge to move the franchise to Las Vegas if the financing for a new stadium is approved.
- Jason Cole previously reported that more and more owners are becoming less opposed about the idea of the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas if this is really the best long-term option for the franchise.
- Vincent Bonsignore also mentioned that there are influential owners who would approve of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas.
- According to Bonsignore, if the Chargers are able to get a stadium deal done in San Diego, the NFL would have three Super Bowl sites — Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas — while ensuring that a second spot remains open in L.A.
- According to Bonsignore, Chargers owner Dean Spanos wants to be in San Diego and has the support of commissioner Roger Goodell.
While some still have concerns about the long-term viability of Las Vegas and whether they alone can support an NFL franchise, Davis believes fans will travel to Las Vegas for games, but the concern remains.
It’s worth mentioning that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not rule out the possibility of the Raiders ending up in Las Vegas when asked about idea at the owners meetings.
The fact that Davis is meeting with prospective cities and stadium backers shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the lack of meaningful progress that the has made towards a new stadium in Oakland.
Some owners reportedly believe that remaining in Oakland is ultimately where the franchise belongs. It’s worth mentioning that the Raiders have the option to join the Rams in Los Angeles if the Chargers back out of their current agreement and get a new stadium built in San Diego, but it appears as though Las Vegas is their main focus right now.
We’ll have more updates regarding the Raiders’ future as the news becomes available.