It’s not quite official, but after the Nevada Legislature passed a bill Friday that will push $750 million in tax dollars into building a NFL stadium in Las Vegas, Oakland can all but wave goodbye to the Raiders.
The Associated Press reports the Nevada Assembly passed the stadium plan by a vote of 28-13. This follows the state senate’s 16-5 approval Tuesday, which means the bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The AP report describes Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval as “supportive” of the funding.
Raiders owner Mark Davis released the following statement on the news, via the AP’s Michelle Rindels.
“I would like to thank Governor Sandoval, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and the members of the Nevada Legislature on this historic day. All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider nation.”
The Raiders’ potential move to Las Vegas is still subject to the NFL’s approval, and in the past the league has been skeptical of putting a team in a city where sports gambling is legal. That being said, Vincent Bonsignore for the Los Angeles Daily News suggests Davis has built a surprising amount of support from the league’s owners, who were said to be opposed as recently as their meetings in Houston back in January.
And why wouldn’t the owners be supportive? All concerns about legalized sports gambling aside, $750 million in taxpayer dollars should go a long way toward building a state-of-the-art facility in Las Vegas.
It sounds like a certainty the Raiders are moving, making the bill being signed into law and the NFL’s approval little more than a formality. It’s a shame for Oakland, but it sounds like Davis got a deal he couldn’t refuse.