Mark Davis did not say a whole lot about the Oakland Raiders possible relocation to Las Vegas.
Davis said Las Vegas is a global city and a NFL market. He also relied on the old cliche when asked about the possible move.
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Davis said.
But can his professional team actually stay in Vegas?
There are a number of ethical concerns about putting a professional team in Las Vegas.
Does a city with a poor economy and bad public schools need a stadium?
Probably not. However, UNLV is already getting a proposed $1 billion stadium. That means Davis and the Raiders only need to show up and pay for relocation fees.
How would the NFL handle sports gambling?
The NFL already excepts money from DFS providers which may or may not be gambling. Ultimately, the public is much more accepting of sports gambling.
It is still unlikely the league would ever endorse Vegas-styled sports gambling. There are ethical concerns like turning basketball players into even more of a commodity. These are men here, and we do not need to bet on them like horses. Plus, there are also valid concerns about players and referees avoiding conflict of interests. We know players already love gambling and Vegas too much.
Could Las Vegas really support a NFL team?
Let’s not forget Las Vegas is a basketball team. UNLV basketball games sellout when the team is good. It is home to the NBA Summer League, USA Basketball Showcases and many preseason games each year.
Hence, the team would have to immerse itself in the community. Luckily, the Raiders do a good job already in blue-collar Oakland. Also, the Raiders California fan-base would make the short drive and plane-rides to neighboring Las Vegas. Those reasons make the Raiders and Las Vegas a nice fit. There is also plenty of cheap rooms for Raidernation to save bucks.
Not to mention, the arena only needs to sellout eight games a year. The Raiders are on the brink of the playoffs and they could attract casual fans outside of their silver and black faithful. Besides, the NFL is so hot that people will want to go to a NFl stadium to be seen. Further, the NFL team would be the only pro sports team in town, which is a draw itself.
Could players succeed in Las Vegas?
Players and fans might worry about that scorching summer heat. However, that does not make players afraid of hot climates like Phoenix, Texas or Florida. Plus, Las Vegas is home to more luxury hotels and clubs than all those places. I am interested if players and owners could deal with that access to alcohol, money and gambling.
In closing, Las Vegas makes a lot of sense for the Raiders. Unlike San Antonio or Portland, Las Vegas has public funds and close proximity to California fans.
A Las Vegas move would be the power move that the Raiders need after rejection from Los Angeles relocation. Not to mention, Mark Davis could do some renegade things by being the first professional sports team in Las Vegas. It is the perfect move to piss off other NFL owners like his pops did many times.