NFL owners are increasingly speaking out in favor of moving a team to Las Vegas, and one of the league’s most influential owners has just lent his voice to the many saying it could work.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told USA Today that he thinks Las Vegas would make sense for the Raiders if they can’t get a deal done for a new stadium in Oakland.
“I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft said. “I know Mark Davis has tried so hard in Oakland. If they won’t do it . . . I want to support him.”
Kraft pointed out that the NFL’s historical objection to having any ties to the gambling industry is no longer relevant in a world where people gamble online everywhere.
“I came into the league in ’94,” said Kraft. “Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas.”
Ultimately, the NFL is going to put teams in markets where taxpayers or private investors are willing to foot the bill for a stadium. In Las Vegas, there’s a plan in place for the Sands Corporation to put $150 million into a new domed stadium and tax revenues to pay for $750 million. With that kind of skin in the game, Las Vegas is going to be a major player in the NFL’s future.