USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero examines the big issues expected to be on the docket next week at NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX – A vote on the Raiders’ application to relocate to Las Vegas could come before lunch here Monday. And there was a strong sense as the NFL’s annual meetings opened that they’ll get the 24 of 32 votes they need, perhaps comfortably.
“It sounds like it’s going to happen,” one influential owner told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “There’s no legitimate option on the table in Oakland.”
Said another owner, who estimated a vote count in the range of 28-4: “It’s a done deal.”
Those people and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter won’t go to the floor for discussion until after the Raiders, NFL officials and relevant committees present Monday morning. Until that discussion and Q&A happen, nobody can truly be certain how other owners feel or how they’ll vote.
However, as another top team executive said: “I don’t see a lot of people fighting” to keep Raiders owner Mark Davis from taking advantage of $750 million in public funding (plus another $200 million for maintenance over 30 years) towards the nearly $2 billion stadium project in downtown Las Vegas.
As he entered the opening meeting Sunday, Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos told reporters he’d vote yes. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also said he hopes it’s approved.
“We’ll find out tomorrow,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has publicly stumped in favor of the Las Vegas market. “It’s gonna be an exciting day for Vegas.”
“I think (Davis) gets a few no votes,” said an executive for a team that has already decided to vote yes, “but definitely gets to 24.”
Market size has caused some discomfort, but one NFL-backed study shows Las Vegas’ gross domestic product on track to surpass Oakland’s by 2034…