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The Raiders Will Apply To Move To Las Vegas

We're moving...there! (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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Earlier this year, there was a real possibility that the Oakland Raiders would be returning to Los Angeles. The team, along with the San Diego Chargers, were working together to get a new stadium built in Carson. Hopes were dashed, however, when the St. Louis Rams got approval for a new stadium in Inglewood, securing their move to the Southland.

Mark Davis, Raiders owner (and fan of weird haircuts), still wanted out of Oakland because the city won't give him a new stadium. Now, it looks like they'll be taking the first steps towards a potential move to Las Vegas, reports ESPN.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this story is how fast Davis had managed to get things in place. As noted at Sports Illustrated, the biggest hurdle for any team looking to relocate is securing money. This turned out to be a cinch, however. Nevada state officials passed a bill on Monday that would raise hotel taxes and allocate $750 million of those funds to building a new stadium. Also, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson has promised $650 million to the project. Together, this covers about $1.3 billion of the projected $1.7 billion that the Raiders will need in total to move to vegas (aside from a new stadium, the team will also have to pay for a relocation fee). The team is expected to cover the remaining costs.

Davis has been very vocal about his intentions to move the team to Sin City. "If [Vegas] comes up with what they were talking about, we're going to move to Las Vegas," said Davis. "Las Vegas has already done what they're supposed to do. And we just have to present it to the National Football League and get the approval to move." Sources told ESPN that Davis announced at a league meeting that he inteded to file papers in January to relocate the Raiders to Vegas. It may be unlikely, however, that the Raiders will be playing in Vegas for the 2018-2019 season, as it would be difficult to build a stadium so fast. Also, Davis may want to play the next two years in Oakland because the team still has two one-year options there.

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Right now, the biggest hurdle Davis faces is the three-fourths vote he'll need among NFL owners (by the way, the NFL has some byzantine rules for reals).

One intriguing scenario? The Raiders may also come to L.A. The new Inglewood stadium will be able to accommodate two teams. So maybe the Raiders will move down here to join the Rams (they had both played at the Memorial Coliseum while in L.A., albeit at separate times). This scenario would depend on the Chargers, however, as they'd struck up a deal to get first dibs in joining the Rams in Inglewood. The Chargers have until January 15 to make a decision.