NFL Owner: Potential Raiders Move to Las Vegas Gaining Steam Throughout League

There was a time, as recent as a few years ago, when if you asked NFL owners or executives if the league would ever have a team move to Las Vegas, the answer you almost always got was: "No effing way." 

As the months have passed since, and as the NFL's dance with Vegas continued, people began to tell me the odds were increasing, like a thermometer reading from the fall to the spring. The percentages of the chances rose from 0 to 10, then 10 to 20, then higher.

Then just recently, in a conversation with an NFL owner about the Raiders and Vegas, I heard something that clarified just how far this has come. This owner said the percentage of the Raiders moving to Vegas "is now 50 percent—and maybe as high as 75."

Whoa. Here we go.

I'm beginning to believe that—if this isn't a ploy by the Raiders to get more cash from Oakland—this Raiders-to-Vegas thing has a real chance of happening. I'm far from the only one who thinks that. The sentiment is clearly growing—and growing far faster than people know—throughout the upper hierarchy of the sport.

The owner said that as he's spoken to other owners, as well as key league officials, one thing continues to crystallize. Attitudes toward the NFL having a team in Las Vegas have dramatically softened. I've written that before, but what continues to surprise me is how dramatic that softening has been.

The owner said that just three or four years ago there was no chance an NFL team would relocate there. "Las Vegas," he said, "was considered poison."

"That's not the case any longer," he said. "One of the things owners see is there's a lot of money to be made there." He laughed. "A lot of money will ease those gambling concerns."

There are still a number of owners highly opposed to an NFL team being in Vegas. Giants co-owner John Mara said in March that the idea is a nonstarter. 


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