Raiders in a rout: Owners vote 31-1 to move storied franchise to Las Vegas
PHOENIX (KSNV News3LV) —
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Only the Miami Dolphins said no, but in the end, nobody cared.
Thirty-one of the richest people in sports gave Mark Davis - the son of Raiders founder Al Davis - permission to move one of the most storied franchises in history to southern Nevada.
"My father used to say that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future," Davis told a packed room of reporters Monday at the Arizona Biltmore, the site of the NFL's annual meeting.
"The opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is one opportunity that will give us the ability to achieve greatness," Davis said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league tried to make the situation work in Oakland.
"We work very hard and never want to see a relocation of a franchise," he said.
The NFL signed off on a financial package that sees the Raiders pitch in $500 million, borrow $650 million and accept $750 million from the state of Nevada in the form of higher room taxes.
"The plan that the Raiders now have to be in Nevada and Las Vegas is a very sound plan and one we have looked at very carefully," said Houston Texan owner Bob McNair, "and it meets all of our standards and financial conditions."
Davis thanked Nevada lawmakers, who in October passed the legislation that made a hike in the room tax possible.
"Finally, I'd like to thank Sheldon Adelson, whose vision and direction made it possible, and probably never would have happened without him," said Davis. The billionaire owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the football owner parted company in January after Adelson said he was upset at how he had been treated by the team as it crafted a stadium lease.
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Adelson walked away, taking his $650 million financial commitment with him. Quickly afterward, Davis received a commitment from Bank of America to provide financing.
"We remain optimistic about the significant economic and tourism benefits the stadium development would provide Southern Nevada," Las Vegas Sands said in a statement to News 3 Monday.
Al Davis, who died in 2011, was one of the most colorful and controversial founding fathers of the American Football League, which merged with the NFL in 1970. Davis cut a wide swath through professional football.
Mark Davis said Monday that his father would be proud.
"I think he'd be proud that two young kids, myself and (team president) Marc Badain, who started out as water boys in this organization are taking this organization into the future," Davis said.