Raiders owner Mark Davis isn’t too worried about the NFL’s perceived aversion to the Las Vegas market and its association with legalized sports gambling.
Davis believes that, if all goes according to plan and a $1.4 billion stadium proposal in Sin City is approved, he’ll make NFL owners an “offer they can’t refuse.”
He would need at least 24 votes to relocate away from the East Bay, a significant hurdle in Davis’ quest for a long-term stadium solution.
Having a power broker in his corner could certainly aid that quest. On Wednesday, Jerry Jones showed he might be an ally. Maybe.
That would be big for Davis, considering Jones played kingmaker in the Rams' approval to return to Los Angeles. He has power and influence. It could help sway some swing votes.
The Dallas Cowboys owner didn’t mention the Raiders by name, but said Las Vegas is worthy of consideration as an NFL market. League owners must first be open-minded to the prospect despite distancing itself from public associations with gambling.
"It has a flair for entertainment, and it has two million people, and they're avid sports fans, the full-time residents," Jones said, via ESPN. "They have a huge visiting contingent that more often than not are fans of some NFL football teams. You add all that together, and it's certainly in a conversation about the future relative to the NFL.
“As you well know, you have to have the right situation. You have to have the right ownership, want to and then a lot of other considerations that have to come into play. For me, I think that certainly the fact that Las Vegas has a gambling aspect to it is far overshadowed by the entertainment value, if you will, family appeal, that you have, the convention appeal. So it does not have disfavor with me, in my opinion, relative to being an NFL city."
Mark Davis has pledged to relocate to Las Vegas if a stadium proposal there receives public financing and final approval from public officials. Davis vowed to contribute $500 million – a $200 million loan from the NFL is included in that sum – to that Vegas project. The remaining funds would come from private investors and taxes on tourists. It’s the same total offered to Oakland, though that prospect seems stuck in neutral.