LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Invoking his father Al’s name, and copying what the Hall of Fame owner did with the Raiders, Mark Davis is moving the franchise out of Oakland.
NFL owners approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas 31-1 at the league meetings Monday. Miami was the lone dissenter.
“My father used to say the greatness of the Raiders is in the future,” Davis said at a news conference in Phoenix. “This gives us the ability to achieve that.”
The vote was a foregone conclusion after the league and Raiders were not satisfied with Oakland’s proposals for a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up with $750 million in public money. Bank of America also is giving Davis a $650 million loan, further helping to persuade owners to allow the third team relocation in just over a year.
“I know that there’s gonna be disappointment and maybe some anger,” Davis said. “And I just hope that in the future as we play in Oakland this year, that they understand it wasn’t the players, it wasn’t the coaches that made this decision, but it was me that made it.”
“You know our goal is to have 32 stable franchises for each team and the league,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We work very hard and never want to see the relocation of a franchise. We worked tirelessly over the last nine months or so on a solution. We needed to provide certainties and stability for the Raiders and the league.”
The Raiders abandoned their Oakland fans the first time in 1982 when they moved to Los Angeles, where they won a Super Bowl title.
They came “home” in 1995 to Oakland when officials put up $200 million to renovate the Coliseum and fund for a new practice facility.
In order for the team to move, they needed to receive at least 24 of 32 owners to approve the move to a $1.7 billion stadium in Las Vegas that’ll be ready for play in 2020. The plan is for the Raiders to continue to playing in Oakland for two or three more years while their stadium in Nevada is being built. The Raiders relocation fee of approximately $350 million is less than the $650 million the Rams and Chargers each paid to move to Los Angeles.
Raiders fans who pack the Upper Deck Sports Lounge in Redlands every Sunday during football season told CBS2 they are excited about the road trips they’ll be able to take to see their team.
“Three-and-a-half hours compared to six hours is a lot better,” said Tim Saucedo with the Inland Empire Raiders Booster Club.
Las Vegas, long taboo to the NFL because of its legalized gambling, also is getting an NHL team this fall, the Golden Knights.
“Today will forever change the landscape of Las Vegas and UNLV football,” said Steve Sisolak, chairman of the Clark County Commission and a former member of a panel appointed by the Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to study the stadium tax funding plan.
“I couldn’t be more excited for the fans and residents of Clark County as we move forward with the Raiders and the Rebels,” Sisolak said.
The vote to move comes after Oakland officials and Raiders fans fought to keep the team in the Bay Area. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and a group trying to keep the team in Oakland, made a last-ditch presentation to the NFL last week. But that letter was “filled with uncertainty,” according to Goodell.
Monday, she asked owners to delay the vote, wanting to give her city a chance to negotiate with a small group of owners to complete a stadium deal at the Coliseum site.
“Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed,” Schaaf said in a statement. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end.”
Schaaf said the city presented a $1.3 billion plan for a stadium that would be ready by 2021. She said the existing Coliseum would be demolished by 2024, with the Oakland Athletics baseball team either moving to a new stadium at the Coliseum site or somewhere else in the city.
The Raiders’ move became more certain this month when Bank of America offered the loan. That replaced the same amount the Raiders lost when the league balked at having casino owner Sheldon Adelson involved and he was dropped from the team’s plans.
Davis on Monday thanked Adelson for his “vision and leadership,” saying the entire deal might not have happened without him.
The Raiders become the second pro franchise in Las Vegas, following the NHL’s Golden Knights, who will begin playing there in the following season.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)