Las Vegas NFL stadium Raiders Chargers

The Las Vegas NFL stadium funding outline developed by Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and local leaders in Nevada wasn’t quite so well received by voters in San Diego. (Image: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

The potential Las Vegas NFL stadium projected to cost $1.9 billion will be partially funded by raising the hotel occupancy tax in Clark County by 0.88 percent. Nevada will use the additional funds collected to direct $750 million towards constructing the 65,000-seat domed football venue.

A similar proposition was presented in San Diego last week, but voters there rejected the notion. The ballot question asked locals in the city if they approve raising hotel taxes by six percent in order to build a new $1.8 billion stadium for the San Diego Chargers’ NFL franchise.

The question received only 43 percent, far short of the required two-thirds. The decision will likely encourage the Chargers to try and relocate to Los Angeles and share the City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood with the Rams.

NFL Roger Goodell hopes the Chargers, and the Oakland Raiders, both stay in their current cities.

“If we get our issues resolved in San Diego, and our issues resolved in Oakland, I think that’s the ideal solution,” Goodell said at the groundbreaking of the City of Champions Stadium this week, as reported by ESPN. “I think that’s what we would all like to see happen.”

Angels and Sinners

The odds seem strong that the Chargers or Raiders are going to soon file for relocation, but the latter’s targeted destination depends on San Diego. The Rams, which moved back to Los Angeles this year, and trying to get a second team to share costs of the stadium that is going to cost upwards of $2.6 billion.

“The ball is really on their court. They can decide what they would want to do,” Rams COO Kevin Demoff said this week. “We would welcome them with open arms, and if not them, we’d certainly welcome the Raiders with open arms.”

If the Chargers do indeed stay in San Diego, Raiders owner Mark Davis would have a tough decision on his hands: go to Los Angeles, the second most populated US city, or go to Vegas, a town that’s more than six-times smaller by population and has never been home to a professional Big Four franchise until the NHL announced an expansion team there this year.

Rumblings and Rumors

Davis has already pledged a lifetime commitment to Las Vegas should the city welcome his franchise. He’s also putting up $500 million towards the stadium, which completes the funding alongside Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s $650 million endowment.

Before an NFL team can relocate, 24 of the league’s 32 owners must approve the move. There’s been plenty of public support made from some of the more prominent owners including New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.

But rumors are circulating in Vegas that there might not be enough support among the league’s owners to move the Raiders to the desert. One potential issue is of course the city’s widespread legal sports betting markets, something Goodell worries could jeopardize the game’s integrity.

“We’d love to get something done in Oakland, but if they do file a relocation, we’ll evaluate that and make sure that we look at it as far as the market issues is concerned,” Goodell concluded.