Over the past few days and weeks there has been A LOT of rumors and stories regarding the Las Vegas stadium that would house UNLV football, a Super Bowl, College Bowls, various events, concerts and of course the Raiders. Many people, including but not excluding fans, bloggers, vloggers, reporters and insiders, have an opinion on what the Raiders and NFL will do or allow the Raiders will do, and hang on any news that corroborates who they feel or fits into their agenda.
A Raiders source told me late Friday night that the team is moving forward with their plan to move to Las Vegas. They are currently putting together, what they feel is a presentation that "will make it very, VERY hard for the other owners to turn down." While the city of Oakland has an agreement with an investment group headed by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott (the Fortress Group) on the price of the land (which the O.co Coliseum currently resides), neither the city of Oakland or the Fortress Group has spoken with the Raiders and the team doesn't intend on speaking with either them.
The NFL prefers to have the Raiders and Chargers stay in their respective cities, but also understands that Raiders feel and view Las Vegas as a more viable option for the team long term. In fact, I was told by an NFL source with knowledge of the proposal the city of Oakland is planning on presenting to the NFL, that it is "worse then the Floyd Kephart proposal" and it was being viewed as "CYA for the city to say they put their best foot forward." I was also told by sources that their fear for Ronnie Lott is "Ronnie becoming the face of something that is destined to fail and hurting his reputation."
The NFL' does have reservations about Las Vegas, but mainly the revenue split between Raiders owner Mark Davis and Hotel mogul Sheldon Adelson. I was told early on Monday that a deal between the Raiders and Adelson is getting close and will be agreed upon prior to the January NFL Owners Meeting where the Raiders will formally announce that they are no longer perusing Los Angeles and will apply for relocation in Las Vegas. The San Diego Chargers would benefit from the Raiders backing out of LA because that would give them more time to negotiate with the city of San Diego as well to get a stadium done in that market. The Raiders and Chargers could be talking about an agreement that would ensure the necessary votes the Raiders need for relocation as well as money coming to the Raiders since they are backing out of LA. The NFL wants to see the rent decreased for the Raiders and Mark Davis make more money on non-football events as well as football events. Adelson has been told by Davis that no part of the team is for sale or will be sold to him and Davis won't sell any portion for the stadium to anyone in Las Vegas or any market for that matter.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority met for the first time on Monday and will select the site and approve contracts for a proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium in the upcoming weeks. The board is chaired by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director Steve Hill (who also chaired the SNTIC). Nevada Governor Sandoval also appointed Dallas Haun, chief executive officer of Nevada State Bank, and Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International. The Clark County Commission appointed Tommy White, the head of Laborers Union Local 872; Ken Evans, president of the Urban Chamber of Commerce; and Jan Jones Blackhurst, former mayor of Las Vegas and an executive with Caesars Entertainment Corp., to the board. Also stipulated by the legislation is that a facilities expert from UNLV be a voting member. That will be Mike Newcomb, executive director of the Thomas & Mack Center, Sam Boyd Stadium and the Cox Pavilion, and lastly the Stadium Authority choose the final 2 members of the board.
During Monday's meeting Chairman Hill recommend hiring Jeremy Aguero of Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis as temporary staff. I was told that Aguero, who was instrumental in negotiating the stadium through the SNTIC and the Nevada legislature, would have a permanent role once the Raiders are approved for relocation to Las Vegas. But in general, the meeting Monday was to issue a request for proposals for legal representation and will start the process of selecting the 2 final board members and 2 officers, a vice chairman and a secretary.
I was told by NFL and Raiders sources that the team expects a vote on relocation in either February or March (at the owners meetings in Phoenix, Arizona) with the expectations that the NFL owners will approve the Raiders move to Las Vegas starting play in 2019 (at Sam Boyd Stadium) and moving into the Las Vegas Stadium in 2020.