NFL owners reportedly won't vote on Raiders to Vegas move until mid-2017
The NFL is going to keep everyone in suspense
If Raiders fans were hoping that the NFL would come to a quick resolution on the team's possible relocation, they shouldn't hold their breath -- it doesn't look like owners are going to vote on the move any time soon.
As of right now, it looks like it will be another six to nine months before a decision is made, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
That means the future of the Raiders could be hanging in the balance until as late as July 2017. That timeline also means that the NFL won't follow the exact same protocol that it followed last year.
The league's 32 owners are scheduled to meet in Houston this week and, although Vegas will be a hot topic, there definitely won't be a relocation vote. Based on Florio's timeline, it also means that it's very unlikely the NFL will schedule a January relocation vote like they did during their October meeting in 2015.
In 2017 the NFL has an owners meeting scheduled for both March and May, meaning there's a good chance that the Raiders relocation vote will go down at one of those two get togethers. Based on the six-to-nine month timeline, May seems like the more likely scenario.
Whatever the timeline is, Raiders owner Mark Davis and the city of Vegas are likely hoping it will speed up. Davis was in Vegas on Monday to officially sign the new stadium bill with Nevada governor Brian Sandoval.
Raiders owner Mark Davis all smiles at stadium bill signing. pic.twitter.com/jSrfL1s2nD— Steve Cofield (@stevecofield) October 17, 2016
"I've said it before, Las Vegas is where the impossible becomes possible," Sandoval said just before he signed the bill on Monday. "We'll be fortifying our economy and cementing our position as the number one tourist and hospitality destination on planet Earth."
Now that Sandoval has approved the bill, that means the state is officially on the hook for $750 million of the $1.9 billion stadium project.
Nevada's portion of the proposed 65,000 seat, domed-stadium will paid for by a hotel tax increase that will go into effect on the Vegas strip.
Both the Raiders and the state of Nevada want the NFL to approve the team's relocation as quickly as possible so that stadium construction can begin in the very near future.
That being said, there's currently no guarantee that the Raiders move will be approved.
As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora outlined on Sunday, the Raiders might not have the votes they need to pull off a Vegas move. For a team to relocate, it has to have the approval of 24 of the NFL's 32 owners.
"The NFL continues to work diligently behind the scenes to find a new home for the Raiders in the Bay Area," La Canfora wrote. "Davis will need 24 votes to get approval for a move, and ownership sources continue to assert that it's far from certain he will obtain that support."
Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been adamant that he'd like the Raiders to stay in the Bay Area, he's also said that final say will go to the league's 32 owners.
The reason the NFL wants a team in the Bay Area is because if the Raiders leave Oakland, that leaves the league without a team in one of the country's largest media markets. Obviously there's the 49ers, but they're located 55 miles away from San Francisco in Santa Clara.
No matter what happens, the Raiders will be staying in Oakland through at least the 2018 season. Davis confirmed over the weekend that his team will finish out its current lease at the Coliseum in Oakland.
Davis is just going to have to hope that it doesn't rain over the next two years, because the stadium can't really handle it.
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