Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020

Robert Leveille, Assistant Sports Editor

Late last month the Oakland Raiders and the NFL announced the team will move to Las Vegas in 2020.

The announcement is the third of its kind in two years. The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, and the Chargers are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017. However, the Raiders announcement has been met with resistance around the nation.

NFL owners voted 31-1 in favor of the move. Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross was the only owner who opposed the move. Ross claimed that he thought of Oakland fans when casting his vote. However, there is reason to be skeptical in Ross’ honesty.

Fans in Oakland and around the league are contending that the move is centered on greed and the Raiders are turning their back on the City of Oakland. In reality, the NFL is a business and the Oakland Raiders are a franchise.

This isn’t the first time Oakland lost the Raiders to another city. From 1982 to 1994, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles before moving back to Oakland. The reason was the same as their current move to Vegas; the Raiders not only wanted a new stadium, but needed one.

While in Oakland, the Raiders have played in the Coliseum since 1966. It’s currently one of the oldest and smallest stadiums in the league. While stadiums like Soldier Field and Lambeau Field have been renovated and upgraded over the years, the Oakland Coliseum has been neglected. Sewage leaks into the locker room and the Raiders still share a stadium with a baseball team. Playing football on baseball infield poses injury risk to players.

The Raiders have been asking the City of Oakland for help in constructing a new stadium for decades. However, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf refused to use tax payer money to fund a new stadium. Las Vegas offered the Raiders $750 million to contribute to a new state of the art facility. While many have questioned Vegas’ willingness to help pay for a stadium when it deals with issues involving crime, education and homelessness, the city isn’t funding the stadium from money from its taxpayers. Instead, the city is raising the money through a hotel tax in order to tax tourists.

There is an economic benefit for both the Raiders and the city in the move.

The Raiders will receive a state-of-the art stadium guaranteed to raise the team’s value above its current 31st league- wide ranking. In return, Las Vegas will become the number-one destination for the Super Bowl once the stadium is built.

The Super Bowl generates $300 to $600 million in revenue for its host city. With Vegas’ ideal climate and entertainment atmosphere, Vegas will become the perfect destination for the NFL’s premier eevent, which once belonged to Miami. Miami has hosted the Super Bowl 10 times since the games inception and four times in the last 22 years.

It’s reasonable to assume that Las Vegas will make a return on its investment by welcoming the Raiders to a new home.

Robert Leveille
Robert Leveille is a criminal justice major. He is assistant sports editor for The Flyer.

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