NFL prepared to make its case for keeping the Raiders in Oakland
Vegas, baby? Mark Davis wants the Raiders there, but the NFL prefers the Bay Area
The league office continues to maintain strong support for keeping the Raiders in Oakland and will extol the merits of that market at an upcoming NFL meeting in Dallas, leagues sources said. While Mark Davis is unrelenting about wanting to move the team to Las Vegas, sources said he will face opposition to do so.
Whether Davis has the 24 votes necessary to secure a move from the Bay Area is a matter of debate, but it is not uncommon for the league to covertly cajole owners -- especially those who have recently benefited from stadium or Super Bowl votes on their behalf -- on matters such as these, and there is a passionate sentiment within Park Avenue that Oakland is a superior market to Las Vegas. Of course, Oakland does not have a stadium deal yet that rivals what Davis could receive in Nevada.
Eric Grubman, who heads these matters for the league, will update owners on the specifics of the latest developments with a potential stadium deal in Oakland. Several ownership sources indicated they expect the NFL to do what it can to can to slow play any move to Vegas, while Davis is intent on filing relocation papers and bringing the matter to a vote as soon as possible.
The NFL has a way of being quite persuasive and also has leverage in this situation given that it can control how steep of a relocation fee Davis would have to pay, as well as whether he qualifies for vital G4 stadium funding money (through the league office at a low interest rate); that program is devised primarily for teams looking for assistance finding ways to improve or replace their existing facilities in their current market.
While Davis has the backing of rich and influential owners like Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft, these stadium issues often become divisive and can splinter between factions, with many of the more traditional, old-school families and owners like the Maras and Rooneys, Jerry Richardson, and the Packers being less inclined to have the Raiders in Vegas.
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