Raiders Move to Las Vegas Gaining Momentum

HOUSTON — There will be no votes on the Raiders’ potential move to Las Vegas at the NFL meetings here this week. No one from the city was invited to attend. No extended presentations. Formal discussion on the topic is expected to be limited.

But the speed with which a record $750 million in public funding towards a nearly $2 billion stadium project passed the Nevada Legislature last week and was signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday raised the chances of NFL owners seriously considering the issue in a month or two.

And while the league remains in information-gathering mode, not just on Las Vegas but existing markets in Oakland and San Diego, it’s not out of the realm of possibility the Raiders could be approved for relocation by January.

A lot would have to fall in place for that to happen, including expedited market research that convinces the 32 owners — 24 of whom must vote in favor of any relocation — that Las Vegas can support an NFL team for decades to come. More details must emerge about the deal pitched by Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson, who has pledged $650 million towards the project, as well as the level of reliance on revenue streams tied to the gambling industry.

There also are signs of potential progress in the Raiders’ current home, where Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is leading the charge to keep the team in the Bay Area — work that would take more than the next few months to complete. And there remain unknowns in San Diego, where the Chargers have a referendum on a public subsidy on the ballot Nov. 8.

The Chargers, Raiders and Los Angeles Rams, whose new home is under construction in Inglewood, are each scheduled to brief owners on their stadium situations Wednesday morning, amidst presentations by the competition committee, management council and others during the meeting that starts Tuesday afternoon.

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33 years covering sports, news and entertainment in Las Vegas.