Is it already too late for Oakland? Has Mark Davis and the Raiders moved on from even considering an Oakland stadium plan after pledging allegiance to Las Vegas? If you take what Davis just said to the Las Vegas Review Journal at face value then that might be the case.
It's no secret that the Raiders interest in Las Vegas turned the corner from flirtatious to for serious long ago, but now Mark Davis has reiterated that
threat promise in a much more indisputable way. Davis was asked if he would turn his back on Vegas if a new stadium proposal would emerge in Oakland, and the answer was clearly forward ho for the Raiders in Sin City.
"No, I would not, and I've made that clear," Mark Davis said at the Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame Induction Dinner in Las Vegas. "The opportunity came up in Las Vegas, and we're giving it full bore. This is not a pawn in a game. We are serious.
"Right now, I'm focused on Las Vegas. We think it could make a great marriage with Las Vegas and the Raiders."
It is very important to take this as a very serious statement moving forward, but also take it with a grain of salt. He is absolutely serious about moving the team to Las Vegas, there is no doubt about that anymore. However, he also would have to answer the question that way in order to keep the project and attempts to secure financing there moving smoothly.
Deciphering what is true and what isn't true in a project this huge is always an impossible undertaking. Working with so many moving parts is very difficult and often there isn't an answer that satisfies everybody involved with the situation. In those circumstances one party can get burned, in this case Oakland.
Mark Davis has an arrangement that is working much better in Las Vegas and he has partners in place that are more important to satisfy. As painful as this can be for Oakland Raiders fans in the Bay Area, it is an easy choice to answer the question in the manor that he did. Besides, spurning Oakland here puts even more pressure on the city to come up with a workable plan.
Also very important to note is that Mark Davis saying that a new stadium option in the Bay Area wouldn't interest him is far easier to claim while there is no conceivable option in place yet. Saying so after something workable was brought to him would likely be much tougher.
Equally as important to note is that Davis could be completely serious that he is "full bore" onto Las Vegas though. If that's the case then it would already be too late for Oakland if Vegas approves the UNLV/Raiders joint stadium plan. It is tough to say what is true and what isn't here, but it is very easy to tell that Oakland better get a new plan for a stadium very soon to have a chance to keep the Raiders.