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    Photo credit: NFL; Oakland Raiders; MANICA Architecture

 

The NFL approved the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas on Monday.

Raiders owner Mark Davis’ relocation bid has been officially approved, bypassing the 24 vote threshold with a 31-1 vote (the Miami Dolphins were the sole opposers).

“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness,” Davis said in a statement. “I would like to thank Commissioner Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment. Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality.

Las Vegas Raiders - Photo credit: NFL                                                                                         Photo credit: NFL

“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”

Per Davis, the plan is for the Raiders to play at their Oakland Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, staying as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. Nevada has approved $750 million for the stadium, coming in the form of a hotel tax, with $500 million coming from Davis. According to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, the stadium will cost a total of $1.9 billion, to be designed by MANICA Architecture.

Las Vegas Raiders - Photo credit: MANICA Architecture                                               Photo credit: MANICA Architecture

Features will include an open-aired entrance, a retractable roof, 65,000 seats, a massive video board on one side of the stadium (perfect for tailgaters), and an eternal flame for former owner Al Davis. The Raiders will bring $100 million worth of media exposure to Las Vegas per year, says the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, who also believe having the city host sporting events means generating an additional $51.7 million for Las Vegas. The stadium will be located near the Strip and is expected to open by fall 2020. The Raiders’ relocation fee is a reported $325 million.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell maintains that the National Football League will remain rigid in regards to their position on gambling. "We are not changing our position as it relates to legalized sports gambling," he told MMQB’s Peter King. “We still don’t think it’s a positive thing.”

Las Vegas Raiders - Photo credit: MANICA Architecture                                               Photo credit: MANICA Architecture

"My emotions are mixed,” said Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. “While I'm sad for family, friends and fans in the [Oakland] area I also recognize the tremendous opportunity going forward for our organization," he told ESPN's Ed Werder in a text message. "That being said, my mission remains the same. To lead this team here and now. Players and coaches need to understand their defined roles. We all need to bring positive energy everyday as we focus on things that we control."

"I am disappointed that the Raiders and the NFL chose Las Vegas over Oakland when we had a fully-financed, shovel-ready stadium project that would have kept the Raiders in Oakland where they were born and raised," Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. "As a lifelong Oaklander, my heart aches today for the Raider Nation. These are the most committed and passionate fans any city or team could hope to have. They deserved better."

Las Vegas Raiders - Photo credit: MANICA Architecture                                               Photo credit: MANICA Architecture

Oakland's loss is Vegas' gain. The move is the Raiders’ third in franchise history and is Nevada’s first NFL team. Welcoming the Raiders to Sin City are the NHL’s Golden Knights, the expansion hockey franchise launching in 2017-18.

"On behalf of the entire Vegas Golden Knights family, I would like to welcome and congratulate Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders on their relocation to the great city of Las Vegas," said Golden Knights chairman and CEO Bill Foley in a statement. "It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them. This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports."

Welcome to Las Vegas, Raider Nation.

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