In an effort to secure a new stadium, and to keep the heat on city officials in their hometown, the Oakland Raiders are actively scouting new locations, and the most intriguing one mentioned this week is Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is leading a group of investors that are offering to build a $1 billion domed stadium on 42 acres of land near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The dome will become the home for UNLV's football team and could accommodate an NFL team, too.
Raiders owner Mark Davis reportedly will meet with Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson on Friday to discuss the dome project. For the stadium to be worth constructing, it will need to have at least 65,000 seats.
"We are moving forward with the stadium concept with or without an NFL team," said Andy Abboud, Las Vegas Sands' SVP of Government Relations and Community Development, to the Review-Journal. "We see a lot more opportunities—conference championships, bowl games, NFL exhibition football, boxing, soccer, neutral site games, and music festivals. There is an entire segment out there."
O.co Coliseum in Oakland, current home of the Raiders. Photo: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons.
The Raiders do not control their potential move to Los Angeles. After the Rams moved to LA earlier this month, the Chargers received the option to move to the city and share a stadium with the Rams. The Chargers have one year to accept or decline the proposal. If they pass, then the Raiders can decide if they want to move in with the Rams.
Meanwhile, the Raiders are still engaged in a stand-off with Oakland, where the city is against giving public money for a new stadium to replace the decrepit O.co Coliseum. The Raiders have looked into moving to San Diego, assuming the Chargers move, and San Antonio.
A mid-sized metro, Las Vegas is one of the largest cities to not have a team in the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB. That could soon be changing: The T-Mobile Arena, a 20,000-seat venue located near the Las Vegas Strip, is expected to be completed within the next few months. The $375 million arena, funded by casino company MGM, will host UFC fights, boxing bouts, and concerts, but will also try to lure an NHL team.
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Rendering courtesy T-Mobile