Although the 2016 season was truly a return to greatness for the Oakland Raiders, the following offseason has been anything but pretty. The residing issue with Oakland, Las Vegas and other potential suitors has turned into an ongoing mystery, as only Mark Davis and the Raiders brass truly know what their methodology is.
When the Raiders officially filed the relocation paperwork, those around the NFL began to accept the fate that the Raiders were going to leave Oakland for Las Vegas. With Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs backing Davis up, it seemed more of a matter of time until a deal was reached.
However, the NFL went into a frenzy when Adelson announced that he is dropping out of the proposed deal, upon issues with Davis and the Raiders. According to reports, Adelson had planned out a deal that worked for all ends, only for the Raiders to rebuttal with an offer that better suited them.
That rebuttal caused not only Adelson to back out of the deal, but also withdrew Goldman Sachs from any ongoing conversation. Moving forward, Davis and the Raiders would have to find other investors and a plan that could be approved.
While this huge bump in the road has caused quite the standstill, the Raiders are attempting to move forward. When asked about the ongoing situation and the lack of any present investors, Raiders president Marc Badain stated that the franchise hasn’t been deterred, via Regina Garcia Cano of the Associated Press:
“The organization remains fully committed to this project,” Raiders president Marc Badain told the stadium authority board members. “We are not deterred. Financing will not be an issue.”
Badain told the board the team is in discussions with “multiple financial institutions,” but declined to elaborate beyond that when asked by The Associated Press. The cost of the 65,000-seat domed stadium is pegged at $1.9 billion.
This bold statement by Badain comes at a time when many are questioning whether the Raiders can get a deal done. However, the Raiders stated they are confident that there are multiple people interested in the opportunity.
Although Adelson is no longer part of the discussions, he was the important factor in starting the entire process. The organization thanked Adelson for his role in the negotiation process, stating they wouldn’t get this far without him.
As the offseason continues on, details will be revealed about their next step in the process. Keep in mind that the franchise still needs to propose and come to an agreement on a new stadium, to be built somewhere near Las Vegas.
While this ongoing saga proceeds on, Raider nation have let their feelings be known. The Oakland Coliseum may provide an ultimatum for Davis, forcing them to play a hand in this matter. The Raiders have signed one-year deals with the Coliseum over the past two seasons, paying $950,000 in 2015 and $3.5 million this past season.
If this drama continues on, surely the Coliseum will demand a pretty high rate, for a franchise and fan base that has unfortunately had little influence in the matter.