The National Football League regular season is just three weeks away from starting and if selling tickets for Raiders games in Oakland is a major priority for team owner Mark Davis, his actions seem to suggest something else.
Davis and his management team have been staking out Nevada and almost acting as if the team is based somewhere in Nevada rather than the present home in Oakland. Meanwhile back home the people buying tickets, the marketing partners and the radio station that broadcasts games in the Bay Area maybe supporting a franchise that has no use for the market.
The Raiders travelling party was in Reno meeting with some state politicians looking to get support for a $700 million grant or handout to help build a stadium in Las Vegas. Davis’s folks have let it be known that should a stadium get done in Las Vegas, then Reno just might be a great place for a 17 day or less training camp as the boys of autumn prepare for the season. Davis has hooked up with casino owner Sheldon Adelson in his wanderlust for a Las Vegas stadium, Adelson apparently is ready to hand Davis $100 million as seed money for the proposed facility, Davis allegedly would come up with $500 million and Nevada residents would be on the hook for $700 million although the money would come from tourists in probably a hotel/motel and car rental tax hikes.
Davis has not been able to get a new stadium from Oakland politicians and the stumbling block is who will pay the debt from the 1996 Oakland stadium renovation done for Al Davis so he would return his franchise from Los Angeles to Oakland. Oakland officials want the debt cleared and the Raiders management wants no part of that. San Antonio may be a fading option. So it is Las Vegas or bust, so it seems for Mark Davis.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.