On Monday, NFL owners gathered at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix to vote on the Raiders’ future. All the franchise needed to move from Oakland was 24 votes, and the Raiders received 31 out of a possible 32 votes. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the only team that voted against the move was the Miami Dolphins. Their owner, Stephen Ross, told The Mercury News that he’s against the Raiders leaving Oakland because he believes teams need to consider their legacy.
With the announcement, the Raiders join the Rams and Chargers as the third NFL franchise in the last 15 months to relocate. However, the Raiders won’t be moving immediately. With a pair of one-year leases remaining on Oakland Coliseum, Raiders owner Mark Davis said the team plans to play in Oakland for the 2017 season and the 2018 season. Plus, the new stadium in Las Vegas – which is expected to cost $1.9 billion ($750 million coming from public financing and another $600 million coming from Bank of America) – isn’t expected to open until 2020.
Davis is open to the possibility of staying in Oakland for one more season once the franchise’s remaining one-year options expire, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will also explore other options.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA,” Davis said. “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.”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr posted a message on Twitter saying he is “overwhelmed with emotion. I don’t know how we should feel. I feel the pain of our fans in Oakland. I also see the joy on the faces of our new fans in Las Vegas.” Fortunately for Oakland fans that have purchased season tickets for the Raiders, Mark Davis said they can get refunds.