LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – For the third time in 35 years, the Oakland Raiders have decided to pack their bags and move to greener pastures; this time, calling Las Vegas, Nevada home, possibly within the next two years or less, and the arrival of the popular National Football League team – an addition to a brand-new 65,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium for them to call home – is bound to have a distinct impact upon the Southern Nevada area.
In late January 2016, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, proposed a new domed stadium in Las Vegas to potentially house the University of Nevada, Las Vegas football team and a possible NFL team. Adelson contacted Raiders management for a potential partnership with the team in regards to the new stadium, and in April 2016, Raiders owner Mark Davis met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee.
Adelson – along with Goldman Sachs, the project’s backup investor – later pulled out of the deal, but the gap was filled by Bank of America; Nevada’s legislature also approved a $750 million public subsidy (via a 0.88 percent increase in hotel occupancy taxes) for the stadium in October 2016, and the Raiders themselves will invest $500 million of their own money in the project. Overall, the stadium has a $1.9 billion price tag, which includes a $100-million practice facility.
The Oakland Raiders were founded on January 30, 1960, as a member of the American Football League; they are currently members of the National Football League, which merged with the AFL in 1970. Over the years, the Raiders’ fortunes on the gridiron have flip-flopped regularly, going through losing streaks but becoming dominant within the league as well, culminating in an easy 1980 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. At the end of the NFL’s 2015 season, the Raiders boasted a lifetime regular-season record of 444 wins, 397 losses, and 11 ties; their lifetime playoff record currently stands at 25 wins and 18 losses.
The Raiders have courted much controversy over their seemingly nomadic tendencies; in 1982 the team relocated to Los Angeles (while still retaining the ‘Oakland’ moniker), and would remain there until 1995, at which time they returned to Oakland. On March 27, 2017, NFL team owners voted nearly unanimously to approve the Raiders’ application to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, Nevada, in a 31-to-1 vote. The Raiders will remain in Oakland through 2018 – and possibly 2019 – and relocate to Las Vegas in either 2019 or 2020.
The stadium and the prestige of having their very own NFL team on-hand is part of state government’s goal of solidifying the very backbone of Las Vegas’ lucrative tourism industry, according to a statement released by Governor Brian Sandoval.
We have before us the opportunity to invest in Nevada’s most foundational industry, tourism, by providing for the infrastructure and public safety needs of the 21st century,” he said. “We can and must usher in a new era for tourism in the Las Vegas market, while keeping our citizens and visitors safe, and ensuring our position as the global leader in entertainment and hospitality.
The stadium is anticipated to provide a boost to the local economy, which is expected to create a ripple effect that will be felt throughout many of Las Vegas’ many industries- including real estate. Jobs and local wages are both expected to receive a boost; in addition, the amount of tourism to the area is sure to increase as not only will the stadium be host to the Raiders, but also the University of Nevada – Las Vegas football team as well, attracting professional and collegiate football fans of all ages.
All of this will translate into a significant amount of fresh revenue being pumped into the Vegas economy, and in any market experiencing employment and wage prosperity, it’s attractiveness as a place to live is sure to increase as well. This is anticipated to result in an increase in home and apartment prices in the area, where quality housing options are already shrinking and are priced at a premium. More than ever – fueled by the arrival of the Oakland Raiders and a brand-new football stadium – Las Vegas will become a seller’s market within the next few years.
However, all the details have not been set in stone yet; terms for a 30-year lease with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority still to have terms ironed out, and property upon which to actually build the stadium still needs to be secured; one proposed 63-acre site is located near McCarran International Airport. However, these are considered to be minor issues with all parties committed to making Las Vegas the new home of the Oakland Raiders a reality.