A historic decision has been levied at the NFL’s annual spring meetings. The league has voted almost unanimously 31-1, (Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross voted against the motion) to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report on the move as he was live at the spring meetings.
Via ESPN, Raiders owner Mark Davis stated:
“The Raiders were born in Oakland, and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff.”
It is a big step for a franchise that has faced a lot of unknowns heading into the future. Davis wanted a new stadium for the franchise, especially as the team grows and becomes a bigger Super Bowl contender.
The amount of revenue generated by the archaic Oakland Coliseum cannot match the amount generated by more advanced stadiums and this has hampered the Raiders organization for quite some time. The team attempted to sell the city of Oakland on building a new stadium but the city declined the idea. It also did not help that the Raiders shared the stadium with the Oakland Athletics.
This vote signifies a turning point in the history of the Raiders organization, a franchise that has spent 45 of its 58 seasons in Oakland.
The team attempted to make a move to Los Angeles, but the Rams and the Chargers beat them to the punch. It appears the NFL has finally gotten over the stigma that Las Vegas continues to hold as the gambling capital of the world, something that they did not want NFL teams affiliated with.
In the immediate future, the Raiders will return to the Coliseum and will continue to play there on a year by year basis. Until the team actually moves to Las Vegas (which seems to be when the new stadium is complete), their names will not change. Once they move, they’ll be known as the Las Vegas Raiders.