This Thursday Mark Davis will be attending a meeting with Las Vegas officials where they will discuss financing of a new stadium there. There's even the possibility the stadium financing could be approved at that meeting and according to multiple reports (here and here), should that happen Davis would commit to moving the team there.
After missing out on Los Angeles back in January due to owners voting to approve the Rams and potentially the Chargers, the Raiders were forced to consider other options. Days afterward, Davis was in Vegas exploring his options there. And has gone back several times since then to continue those flirtations. Now those flirtations have gotten pretty serious.
Some believe Davis' interests have now shifted entirely. Facing the possibility of the Chargers extending their window to move to Los Angeles until 2018, Davis is being proactive to ensure his fate isn't in the hands of Dean Spanos, San Diego voters, the NFL owners, or the City of Oakland. The latter of which has seen no movement toward a stadium even despite the Raiders coming within an eyelash of leaving town already.
The Rams are settling in their new/old LA home and building their $2.6 billion state of the art facility and surrounding area in Inglewood and San Diego is finally moving forward on their own stadium plans.
The big question now is if the NFL owners would approve a move to Las Vegas due to the gambling aspect of things which has kept major sports out of the city for so many years. There are split opinions on that, and though the NFL has said there's no rule in place prohibiting such a move, it's a decision they'd just as well not have to make. Mark Davis appears ready to force them to make a decision.
"There are several cities that have a tremendous interest in the Raiders," said Goodell last month when asked about Raiders interest in Las Vegas. "I'm hopeful also that Oakland will be one of those and that we can avoid any relocation to start with. Those are ultimately decisions about where they go and the impact that the potential gambling that we'd have to deal with. We'd have to understand it, we'd have to understand what the impact is on us and ultimately each owner would have a vote on that."
Goodell already played a large role in ensuring the Raiders were left out of Los Angeles, by heavily influencing the owners' vote. Could he/they block Davis again? Could Oakland finally say enough's enough and find a solution to get a new stadium built? Could Davis still keep a window cracked to LA in case the Chargers commit to staying in San Diego by 2017 after all? We'll see.
Next stop is Las Vegas on Thursday.