Raiders' move to Las Vegas approved by NFL owners


The Raiders are headed to leaving Oakland to move to Las Vegas.

NFL owners on Monday approved the team's proposal to leave the Bay Area for Vegas and a new $1.9 billion domed stadium set to open in time for the 2020 season.

The Raiders needed support from 24 of the 32 NFL owners to make the move, and Mark Davis did not have much trouble convincing 23 of his peers that this was a move that had to be made.

According to reports, only the Miami Dolphins voted against the relocation.

The Raiders have long sought a stadium upgrade from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which they have called home since 1966 aside from their stint in Los Angeles from 1982-94.

But Bay Area government officials showed little interest in the type of financial commitment the team and the league demanded, while Las Vegas pledged $750 million in public funds toward the construction of a new stadium.

Though Oakland tried to get owners to delay a relocation vote, with Mayor Libby Schaaf having a note to that effect hand-delivered to the owners' meetings in Phoenix, the NFL has made it increasingly clear it did not view staying put as a viable option.

Monday's vote was another disappointment for Oakland-area fans and a significant gamble by the NFL on the viability of Las Vegas as a major sports market.

Las Vegas does not have the population base the NFL generally looks for, and its television market is only the 40th-biggest in the country. But the NFL is hoping the constant flow of tourists to the Las Vegas Strip, just across the freeway from the proposed stadium, will keep the turnstiles humming.

While some owners had expressed reservations earlier in the process about putting a team in city famous mostly for its gambling opportunities, those concerns obviously were not enough to outweigh the financial incentives in the league's favor.