Oakland today, Las Vegas tomorrow?


Illustration by Ariana Gonzalez/The Pioneer

Louis LaVenture,

With no firm proposal for a new stadium in Oakland, the Raiders could be on the move.

Owner Mark Davis, son of former owner Al Davis, has confirmed his interest in moving the team to Las Vegas or San Antonio. According to USA Today, Ron Reese, a senior vice president at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. said that Davis has been to Las Vegas six to eight times in the last two months. This has all been happening while the CEO of Sands, Sheldon Adelson leads the way on a new $1.4 billion stadium proposal, according to USA Today.

The Las Vegas Journal reported that there are four proposed sites that a stadium could be built in Las Vegas and several plans, none of which have been confirmed. One plan says $500 million of the $1.4 billion would come from hotel room taxes while another plan suggests that $750 million would come from public funding, however no official plans have been confirmed.

If the Raiders move to Las Vegas they won’t be the first professional team in the market. In June, the NHL became the first major sports league to put a team in Las Vegas when they announced an expansion franchise that will play the 2017-2018 season in Sin City.

The NFL could put restrictions on betting if the Raiders do move to Las Vegas, which could include not allowing betting on Raiders games, something that could also be a possibility for the NHL team.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders gave an 83-question survey to the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce who e-mailed it to more than 10,000 addresses in the Las Vegas area last week. According to Cara Clarke, the Associate Vice President of Communications for the Chamber of Commerce, questions included the level of interest in the team relocation to Las Vegas and preferences in stadium seating.

The silver and black have no current plan in place to keep the team in Oakland and lost their relocation bid to Southern California in January, which went to the former St. Louis franchise the Rams.

“We want to keep all of our professional teams in Oakland,” Mayor Libby Schaaf told The Pioneer earlier this year. “We just can’t do that at the cost of our citizens. It’s too much.”

Oakland taxpayers still owe nearly $100 million from the renovations to O. co Coliseum when the team returned to Oakland from a brief stint in Los Angeles. Schaaf said she was unwilling to ask residents to take on potentially more than $500 million to build a new stadium in Oakland.

The group Stay in Oakland has led an internet campaign to keep the team in the East Bay. The group uses Facebook to get petitions to fans who want to try and keep the team in Oakland. In addition to the Raiders, the group also advocates for the Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors to stay in Oakland as well. John Ramos has been a Raiders season ticket holder since 2005 and is optimistic at the chances of the silver and black in Oakland.

“When they moved to LA the first time, it hurt,” Ramos said. “It took a few years before I felt like it was my team again. We are finally starting to get good players and be successful and then we move? This sucks.”

Another group, Keep the Raiders in Oakland, has been fighting to keep the silver and black in Oakland since Feb. 2012, which is led by Autumn Wind Williams. The mission of the group is to keep the team in Oakland and put pressure on the city to build the franchise a new stadium in the city.