Back in March 2017, the NFL membership met and discussed an application from the Oakland Raiders to relocate. The NFL club’s new home territory would be in Las Vegas. The club tabled proposals and partnerships for funding that described a public-private partnership that would build the stadium.
The raider’s application was reviewed by the NFL Finance and Stadium Committees as is required by the guidelines on the League’s Policy and Procedures on Proposed Franchise Relocations. The NFL Commissioner read a detailed report that showed the raider’s application was in line with the guideline. The member teams then moved the matter to a vote.
Back in 2016 the Commissioner and membership had turned down a raider’s application where the team wanted to relocate to Los Angeles. The team had argued that their current stadium in Oakland was not adequate for NFL football. They asked for it to be replaced or for a comfortable solution by the local government in Oakland. The member clubs turned down that application and decided to give Oakland another chance. Oakland failed to deliver a solution to the team’s crisis and they had no choice but to listen to another application by the Raiders. The NFL membership did mention that the Raiders had already established preference where football clubs had to continue to serve their existing fans and communities. This, however, didn’t stop the NFL membership from permitting the Raiders to relocate from Oakland. This conclusion has not changed in the past year. Similarly, the Raiders are not barred by the club’s current lease from relocating to another community.
For over a decade, the Raiders have worked diligently and in good faith to improve the club’s stadium situation in Oakland. The NFL determined not to accept relocation applications prior to the 2015 season, and the Raiders were not permitted to relocate to Los Angeles prior to the 2016 season. This gave Oakland leadership additional time to address the Raiders’ acknowledged stadium issues. The NFL emphasized that the member clubs would be unlikely to accept contingent or uncertain stadium proposals as a basis for requiring a club that otherwise qualifies for relocation to remain in its home market. The stadium proposals received from Oakland are dependent on various contingencies and involve a number of significant uncertainties that the membership concluded cannot be resolved in a reasonable time. This is true even though the League has long accepted the community’s position that it will not invest public funds into stadium construction.
The proposal to relocate to Las Vegas involves a clearly-defined and well-financed proposal for a first-class stadium in a diverse and growing community that is well-recognized as an entertainment destination. It offers the Raiders a genuine opportunity to resolve longstanding stadium issues and is expected to provide the club with solid future prospects. Fans at future Las Vegas Raiders home games will be able to legally place bets on online pokies from inside the planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium.
After full consideration, the membership approved the relocation of the Raiders’ home territory to Las Vegas.