The NFL is headed to Las Vegas and we knew it was only a matter of time. Nothing is official, but after today’s owner’s meetings in Houston it seems as though there is strong support for the Raiders bid to move the franchise. According to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was one of the leading advocates for relocation. Jones, long known as one of the most powerful and influential owners in the league, is exactly who Raiders owner Mark Davis needs on his side.
Financial commitments have been pledged by major Vegas businessmen and lawmakers have signed a bill that will cover some of the costs to build the $1.9B stadium. Davis, Jones and the rest of the billionaire owners are salivating at this opportunity. Increased marketshare, merchandise, inflated franchise valuations all add up to one thing, dollars. Plus with the big time casino builders and businessmen in Vegas, it’s a win-win for these wealthy powerful men. Jones said:
Mark has the Raiders, but … the makeup of who might be involved in a power-able way with Mark is very impressive in Nevada, counting [Fertitta and family], counting Sheldon, counting MGM, counting Steve Wynn. I’m telling you, you’re talking about people who have financial credibility and a unique understanding of entertainment and the value in that particular marketplace.
The opportunity to make more money and move into a new marketplace is way too enticing for Davis or any other owner to pass up. A source that spoke to ESPN’s Jim Trotter said Davis let all the owners know he will apply for relocation in January and is 100% committed to Vegas. Davis only needs 24 owners to vote yes. I have a feeling with Jones being such a huge advocate and all the big names and financing in place this will get done.