Jim Trotter of ESPN reports that Raiders owner Mark Davis told NFL owners at the meeting in Houston Wednesday that he plans to file for relocation to Las Vegas in January.
“Mark Davis said that he was committed to Las Vegas 100 percent, and that there were several market studies being done by the Raiders,” said one source told Trotter.
“I don’t know what there is to say other than, ‘Congrats, Raiders on getting the largest public subsidy ever and cleaning up our L.A. [mess],” another source tells Trotter. “They’ve busted their ass to get something done. I respect that. … Once you’ve stepped up and produced something, you deserve better.”
Davis, himself, made it clear to reporters that his commitment the Nevada governor isn’t a leverage tactic to get a better deal out of Oakland.
“My thing is I’ve never played cities against each other,” Davis told Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY Sports. “Even when we were doing the L.A. thing with the Chargers, Dean (Spanos, San Diego’s owner) and I both had in our deal between us, that if either of us got something in our own markets, then our deal was off and we were going back.
“So, Oakland at that time had the opportunity – they were really negotiating against themselves, and they really didn’t want to do anything. They gave a five-page letter as their offer to the NFL, and we ended up losing the vote to go (to L.A.), and they sent us back to get something done (in Oakland). We got a one-year lease (on the Oakland Coliseum) with two one-year options, and I had a press conference and talked then about moving into the future. A week later, I got a call from one of the board of supervisors, said, ‘Mark, sorry, but the deal that we negotiated with you is off. We’ve got to raise the rent and we’re raising it three times.’
“Unfortunately, it just showed disrespect to the Raider organization and maybe just a little bit of false leverage on their part or whatever. So, we have the one-year lease with the two one-year options, and we’ll probably play that out. But then we had to go look for a real home, and Nevada came through.”
Davis added that he’s made a commitment to the Nevada governor after they stepped up and came through with public funding for a Las Vegas stadium.
“I made a commitment to the governor,” Davis said. “I told him if they come through with the funding that they were talking about, that I would do everything possible to get there. I was not using it as leverage. I told him. I looked him right in the eye and said: ‘That’s not the way I do business.’”
There have been reports that the NFL would prefer for the Raiders to stay in the Bay Area, given the team’s history there and the fact that it’s much better TV market without some of the concerns that there would be with Las Vegas.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk previously mentioned that the prediction right now is that the Raiders have a 75-percent of gaining approval to move to Las Vegas.
In order to move the team to Las Vegas, Davis would need 24 votes from ownership. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported over the weekend that it’s “far from certain” Davis would get the support he would need to make such a move right now.
We’ll have more regarding the Raiders and a potential Las Vegas stadium as the news is available.