Some sportswriters say they totally heard the Raiders are moving to Vegas, no really, a guy said it

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis is following up his appearance at a Nevada state legislative hearing two weeks ago on a new Las Vegas football stadium with an appearance at another meeting of state officials this Thursday, and … and that’s really all we have to go on, but certain football writers, citing “sources” in one case and their own brains in another, are still off to the races:

And from a Twitlonger by Joe Arrigo:

Here is what I can confirm and KNOW in regards to the Raiders and a move to Las Vegas.
The Sands Group (who is attempting to build the stadium) is meeting this Thursday to discuss (and potentially approve) a new stadium for the UNLV football program and the Raiders.
Mark Davis, the Raiders owner, will be in attendance at the meeting on Thursday and speak at the meeting as well. Davis is ready to commit to moving the Raiders to Las Vegas at the meeting Thursday if they approve the new stadium.
The Raiders would move in 2017 or 2018 and play at Sam Boyd stadium until the new stadium is built. Davis already has toured the stadium with Tony Sanchez and the UNLV president and AD, and is on board with playing there temporarily.

Cole is an NFL columnist for Bleacher Report who specializes in Q&A’s with current players, which doesn’t seem like the best way to get the inside scoop on whether the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas. [UPDATE: Cole would like you to know that “whatever dude, I’ve been on the stadium/LA issue for 10 years.”] Arrigo, per his Twitter bio, is a high-school wide receivers coach, and a former radio host, and runs a UNLV fan site, which makes “Q&A reporter for Bleacher Report” seem like Bob frickin’ Woodward.

Since we’re here, though, here are the reasons why it’s extremely unlikely that Mark Davis will be moving the Raiders to Las Vegas anytime soon:

  1. The Raiders still have second dibs on sharing the Los Angeles Rams‘ new Inglewood stadium, if the San Diego Chargers pass it up. The Chargers probably won’t — their campaign for a new stadium in San Diego is currently somewhere between “longshot” and “train wreck” — but it’d be nuts for Davis to throw away the option before he sees what becomes of it.
  2. Notwithstanding Joe Arrigo, the Vegas stadium is not going to be approved this Thursday. First off, this isn’t even a meeting of the state legislature, but of something called the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, a group of political and business leaders convened by the governor to examine possible tourism initiatives and report back this summer. Secondly, there’s the little matter of the $780 million in public subsidies that billionaire Sheldon Adelson wants for his proposed stadium, which is going to take a while to put together, if it gets any traction at all.

Still, media events like this aren’t meant to signify anything real, they’re meant to provide a sense of “momentum” to stadium projects — so Davis and Adelson and the NFL must be just thrilled that NBC Sports’ Mike Florio is reporting exactly that. In an age where people are famous for being famous, getting credited with momentum for leaking news to the press that you have momentum is probably the next logical step.


62 comments on “Some sportswriters say they totally heard the Raiders are moving to Vegas, no really, a guy said it

  1. “he’ll pledge to move team there if financing approved…”

    Well yeah. He’ll probably pledge to move the team to Las Vegas, New Mexico if somebody else pledges to pick up the tab and give him a stadium.

  2. If Sheldon Adelson has money to throw at doomed presidential candidates, he has money to build his own stadium.

  3. “Since we’re here, though, here are the reasons why it’s extremely unlikely that Mark Davis will be moving the Raiders to Las Vegas anytime soon:
    1…
    2…”
    3. Have you seen Sam Boyd Stadium?

  4. SierraSpartan: I would have started with the fact Las Vegas is smaller than Portland, Orlando, St Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake and Columbus, has a fraction of the disposable income of those places and has about 100 times as many entertainment options.

    However, it has become abundantly clear that Mark Davis wants a new stadium above all else, and doesn’t seem to much care where that stadium is as long as he’s not the one paying for it.

  5. As crazy as this sounds, I believe Mark Davis actually cares about his fan base, and that’s why San Antonio and St. Louis are non-starters. Oakland to Vegas is an 8 hour drive or an hour flight and LA is six. So it’s not unrealistic for Raiders fans in California to make the trip a few times a year.

    I guess if he really cared about his fan base he’d move into Levi’s, but he wouldn’t be able to save face is he was someone else’s tenant.

  6. Jim: Have you ever driven to Las Vegas from the Bay Area?

    I have. It sucks. It sucks more on Sunday when half of LA is driving back home on I-15. If you left after a Sunday game you might get back in time to take a shower and go straight into the office for Monday.

    Of course, the NFL seems to only care about those fans who can afford a skybox. Even if it was located right next door to the current stadium a new stadium would suck more for non-skybox fans because new football stadium designs mostly suck for watching the game from a regular seat (Levi’s sucks a bit less because they put the boxes all on one side).

  7. Scola: The first problem is the Raiders have never been the darlings of corporate america. I have doubts they would fetch top dollar for their skyboxes or stadium naming rights. However, I agree that most current Raiders fans will not make the trek to Las Vegas for home games. The commute from LA does suck. And its way too far for the fans who reside in the Bay Area. Its unlikely Southwest airlines has enough flights from Oakland to accommodate 20,000+ fans for those weekend games in Vegas.

  8. Hey, at least it would beat having 20k people try to get through the 4-way stop on a two lane road next to a railroad crossing in Kramer Junction out in the middle of the Mojave. :)

  9. Also, let’s not beat around the bush. “The Raiders have never been the darlings of corporate america.” Sure, that’s one way to put it. More to the point the Raiders’ fans are working class people of color. That’s the sort of people the NFL likes having beat each other’s brains out on the field until they all get CTE, not the kind they like having in the stands.

    So let’s not pretend any of this is about the fans.

  10. Its never about the fans. Obviously, Levi’s Stadium wasn’t about the fans.

    Mark Davis will scour the earth with hopes that someone is going to build a new stadium for the Raiders. He doesn’t want to accept the fact he may never get what he seeks unless he decides to give up a shareif his franchise.

  11. jcpardell: I don’t know. It seems it gave California’s notoriously fair weather football fans what they desire most: Fair weather.

  12. I don’t see what the problem is with being a “fair weather fan.”

    If you have something else to do that doesn’t cost $250 for two tickets with another $100 for parking–I don’t know, maybe checking out California’s fantastic State Park system–why should any citizen feel like there’s a requirement to go to a football game just because the AFL put a team somewhere 60 years ago?

  13. Scola: If we’re pretending this has nothing to do with the fans; then why would Mark Davis not look to more viable cities like San Antonio first? Unless Vegas was a way to salvage what remained of his current fan base…..

    First, the drive from Oakland to Vegas is ridiculous, that’s about a 9 hour drive. You could fly round trip 4 times before completing a drive one-way….. Y’all really think 20,000 people would fly to Vegas *from the Bay Area alone* every week??? I doubt 2,000 people would buy tickets to the game & actually make the trip, but I certainly think those living in the Bay Area are more likely to continue watching the Raiders play on TV if they’re closer to Oakland. 9This is where people say: what better way to do that than stay in Oakland or Sacramento.) But the fact that some of y’all believe if people from California don’t fly to Vegas for home games–the Stadium in Vegas wouldn’t be able to sellout 8 home games, is laughable.

    And you said, “if you left after a Sunday game you might get back in time to take a shower and go straight into the office for Monday.” Without reiterating how unrealistic it is (not impossible, though) for people to drive–but to also go to work on Monday…? Flying to Vegas for a weekend with a friend or your spouse is Midlife-Crisis 101: where depending on if it’s football season, you use a sick day on either Friday or Monday AND keep it off social media, something midlifers didn’t struggle with 5-10 years ago. That being said, paid-vacation is still taboo in America. It’s not something everyone will do, nor would 20,000 people do it every home game, but guarantee that a different group of a few hundred/maybe a couple thousand people would do it in waves, because it’s Vegas.

  14. Alex: He did. Davis not only looked into it, he threatened to do it and went as far as buying land in San Marcos, TX. But, you know, after having a few meetings and buying a a vacant lot, much to his surprise no one has yet forked over $1B of taxpayer money.

    Some days it’s hard being an NFL owner.

  15. Alex: Frankly, I believe Las Vegas should try a smaller sport before jumping into the fire with one that normally requires 65,000 fans to simply break even. At least Sacramento has the Kings, and now that city is likely to get a future Major League Soccer franchise. Honestly, I don’t know if the Nevada legislature will support $780 billion in public subsidies, and how many people in the Las Vegas area are willing to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a seat license at the proposed new stadium. It appears the only think Mark Davis is going to factor will be who is going to pay for a new Raiders stadium.

  16. jcpardell: Just so I’m clear, your viewpoint is it is better to start with a smaller sport and if you can’t support that you’re ready to try a bigger sport?

  17. No. If Las Vegas is unable to support a sport which requires a smaller attendance, how can they attract a sport which requires a larger attendance? Honestly, if you look at UNLV’s football program, their average annual attendance is 29,000. Does that figure justify $780 million in taxpayer subsidies?

  18. Jcpardell: I don’t think Mark Davis is actually going to move the Raiders to Vegas…..

    Plan A: stay in Oakland, but the city’s not in the best position to giveaway billion dollars handouts to billionaires.

    Plan B: go to LA after San Diego extorts themselves.

    Plan C: Vegas.

    I’d put all my money on plan B, but I disagree with those whom flat out believe the NFL could never be successful in Vegas. We’re only talking about 8 games. “Smaller” sports come with more games, and that doesn’t bode well for Vegas–it doesn’t bode well for like 90% of MLB cities, either. The other major 4 sports have too many games in general, in my opinion.

    UNLV plays in a stadium that like a 24 hour walk away from their campus, their attendance should be lower than what it is, and not much justifies $780 million subsidies for 1 project until engineers finally figure out nuclear fusion…

  19. “No. If Las Vegas is unable to support a sport which requires a smaller attendance, how can they attract a sport which requires a larger attendance?”

    A good question. You could ask the same about Sacramento. I don’t think anyone could call the Kings a success and keep a straight face.

    At least the Spurs have been a financial success and built a fan base that stretches from Austin to Brownsville to El Paso. Of course they did go through 3 publicly-financed arena in 3 decades which has to be a record. That might be why Davis is so perplexed why the dump truck of money hasn’t pulled up down in football-crazy Texas (where people don’t say stuff like ‘I don’t see what the problem is with being a “fair weather fan.”’)

  20. Alex: I don’t understand why people think the opposition to a publicly-financed stadium in Oakland is an issue of “can’t.” It’s “won’t”. Publicly-financed stadiums are bad investments for taxpayers and worse public policy. Oakland _could_ pay for a stadium but that doesn’t mean they want to nor that they should.

  21. Even a wealthy city like San Francisco wouldn’t contribute anything beyond what was intitially agreed to for a new 49ers stadium. That is why they left for Santa Clara. Mark Davis is in need of a community that is just as gullible. Oh where is Irwindale when he needs them.

  22. Cities like San Antonio have to be careful, despite the exuberance for football. Though large, it is not a rich city (compared to Dallas and Houston, in particular), depends a lot on federal/military spending (employers that don’t buy season boxes), doesn’t have the corporate strength of other cities, and would be overly dependent on individual ticket sales compared to financially “successful” NFL teams.

    Not to say that they couldn’t overspend on a stadium, but in a market like that–it would probably be only the beginning of the public spending. Sort of like New Orleans.

    Texas is also a beautiful state and there are many people who would rather pay for something else. Empty barrels and noise, etc.

  23. jcpardell: Again, I don’t get the “partner” thing. He needs a billion bucks, though a few hundred mil some could come from the NFL, so maybe $600-$700M. He owns a bit over half the team. The team is valued at $1.43.

    Simple math says plan D IS plan E. They are the same thing.

    You also missed the real plan D: Continue playing at the Coliseum. You know the one he’s been doing and still doing fine.

  24. GDub: Fair enough but Dallas didn’t pay for Jerryworld. Arlington did. San Antonio is about 4 times as big as Arlington.

    I don’t think Davis’ assumption that Texans hand out stadium subsidies like they think they’re handguns or abortion restrictions is unreasonable.

  25. Jcpardell: Why would Mark Davis take on a partner or sell the team to fund a new stadium, when Vegas would practically give him a one…… Vegas seems like the clear “safety net” right now, even if it’s purely leverage… It’s still a real backup plan so he’ll never need to resort to your plan D & E.

    Either LA has a open seat or Vegas offers the cheapest route to a new stadium.

    Scola: it’s always “won’t” when it’s really “can’t”

    “I would never pay $10,000 to charter a private jet, what a waste. ***Wins lottery*** Immediately signs up for WheelsUp.”

    and no one here is defending public subsidies for sports stadiums… Only nuclear fusion. HA!

  26. Alex: The Oakland budget is about $1.2B per year. Tax receipts are rising as Oakland has the fastest home appreciation in the country.

    A subsidy for a new stadium would work out at about the same or a bit less than Oakland’s parks budget or public library ($26M-$29M a year). That said, parks and libraries are great for a community whereas new football stadiums suck.

    Again, they absolutely could. But they won’t because it’s a bad idea.

  27. Scola: Oakland has the fastest home appreciation in the country because its the only affordable place to purchase a home in the Bay Area. What happens when supply runs thin or the economy slows? However, let’s agree that Oakland is not going to help fund a new stadium.

    In regards to your previous comment regarding the Sacramento Kings not being a financial success, I can only state the franchise sold for $535 million in 2013 and are now valued by Forbes at $925 million. That’s one hell of a capital gain.

    Alex: The issue of Las Vegas funding a new stadium is highly premature. Providing $780 million in taxpayer monies for a facility which doesn’t produce much in terms of an ROI is going to be questioned by many in the Nevada legislature. Sheldon Adelson may be talking a good game. But people will question why so much is being spent for something that is being strongly advocated by people who should be building it with their own money.

  28. Yeah, that’s one hell of a capital gain–because their corrupt mayor a former NBA player gave them $223M of taxpayer money.

    When you give someone money how they suddenly have more money. Funny how that works.

    As for “questioned by many in the Nevada legislature” I’m going out on a limb and going to say you haven’t really been paying attention to the Nevada legislature. These are the people who just gave a $1.25B public subsidy to Tesla–and Sheldon Adelson has a lot more pull with Nevada Republicans than Elon Musk does.

  29. Also, as for Oakland, plenty of people are moving there because they like it. Why? Because a lot of us moved to San Francisco for its progressive attitude and are scared to death of a city where “You need to come to San Francisco more. Oh, I forgot. You can only afford Oakland.” is considered ok to say. Plenty of San Franciscans want to live somewhere where people are judged by something other than their net worth.

    A progressive town that doesn’t stand for stadium subsidies (which you voted for) or $5M handouts to the NFL (which you support) or any of that sort of stuff has a lot of appeal.

    …and I say that as someone who calls Noe Valley home, who loves San Francisco and who works in the tech sector (often demonized as the people who are bringing that sort of attitude). I feel confident Oakland will continue to draw people.

  30. Scola: You argued the Kings aren’t a financial success. Well, the Maloofs purchased the Kings in 1998 for $156 million and they were sold for a then record price in 2013. If they were such a bad investment, why did someone agree to pay the price to own them?

    The subsidies you mentioned regarding Tesla are different than having a government provide funding for a football stadium. Tesla is receiving their subsidies in the form of tax credits and discounted tax breaks for opening a factory and creating technology jobs. Given there is no stadium financing plan for the Las Vegas football stadium, I am unaware what subsidies will be requested to assist with the financing. My assumption is the state will need to issue bonds with some sort of repayment mechanisms which will be sketchy.

  31. The Washington Wizards were sold in 2010 for $550M, so no it was not a record at the time. The previous Wizards owner bought it for $1.1M.

    The Kings are the 5th least profitable NBA team. Bigger sucker theory does not a successful team make.

  32. By the way, I in no way am claiming Las Vegas or Nevada will hand Mark Davis and Sheldon Adelson $1B. To do so would be amazing stupid, irrational and unsustainable. However, doing amazingly stupid, irrational and unsustainable stuff is Las Vegas’ raison d’etre. I don’t claim to even begin to understand what they might do.

  33. In addition, most San Franciscans don’t judge others by their net worth. Frankly, that is a Los Angeles thing. There are positives in Oakland. Its not the worst city on the planet. But there are some areas in dire need of an overhaul.

    I voted for the initial 49ers stadium subsidy, because most of the repayment was going to be in the form of property and sales taxes generated by a new outlet mall being established as part of the new stadium at Candlestick Park. In addition, there was going to be housing components built as part of the entire project. Overall, the seed money being provided for that development would have been repaid. However, I have reservations about whether I would support the same concept today.

  34. I am thrilled that the 49ers left San Francisco. It made more room for more housing including affordable housing.

    Most San Franciscans don’t judge others by their net worth, but there’s unfortunately a growing acceptance in certain circles for insulting people for lack of money or even using racial dog-whistle language like the kind you’ve used to describe Oakland and Raiders fans. I consider such behavior un-San Franciscan.

    Yes, Oakland has its problems. Most places do. It’s also got a lot of good things, a competent mayor, a plunging crime rate (this year its property crime rate is lower than San Francisco) and is behind Jersey City it is the second most diverse city in America. There’s a lot to like.

  35. Scola: The Wizards and the Verizon Center were sold for $550 million. The arena was part of the package. That is different from the sale of the Sacramento Kings.

  36. Ummm….the Kings own the Sleep Train Arena so the arena was also part of the Kings deal, even if their plan was to eventually knock it down.

  37. Slight non-sequitur: I just have to say I short of “techno dance party” and “nuclear apocalypse” I struggle to find two things less conducive to sleep than a train and an arena.

  38. Scola: Different in terms of utility. The Verizon Center has numerous tenants providing additional revenue streams for the owners of the arena. Sleep Train Arena, aside from an occasional concert, was primarily being used by the Kings with not much else.

  39. 40 comments on a thread about the son of some moderately wealthy dead guy maybe considering moving his team to a stadium that might be built somewhere, some time?

    Mission Accomplished.

    I’m hoping Adelson’s real plan is still hidden… and that when he comes up a few votes short on the $780m in public subsidies for an actual stadium he will graciously allow the county/state to give him $520m not to build a stadium.

  40. Did I miss plan F? Move to Santa Clara and share with the 49er’s. Seems the most logical to me.

  41. Plan F will not occur. Mark Davis would rather remain at the Coliseum as opposed to a subtenant of the 49ers.

  42. Scola,

    re: Jerryworld–the mix of private and public dollars (tax credits) in the Dallas stadium has been covered here. The project makes financial sense to Jerry Jones (not sure about the town) because of the levels of population and wealth in the surrounding community.

    Arlington’s size relative to San Antonio is irrelevant. An Arlington stadium draws on the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. There’s nowhere in the San Antonio area that could provide the corporate and personal wealth of the Dallas area. Unless we’re going to go down the road again of people flying from Fort Worth for the weekend eight times a year to see a game.

    The point is that merely spending a ton of money on an NFL-ready stadium does not solve the problem of making the team a viable local entertainment proposition (from the NFL’s perspective, not ours)–which threatens (under the same dumb logic of building the stadium) to further increase public costs. Cities like Buffalo, Jacksonville, and New Orleans are dealing with the challenges of relative low fiscal wealth every year.

  43. GDub: “Jerryworld–the mix of private and public dollars (tax credits) in the Dallas stadium has been covered here.”

    Apparently it hasn’t been because the public dollars were not “tax credits.” They issued a $325M bond which is being paid off with a half-cent sales tax, 2% hotel occupancy tax and 5% car rental tax.

    “Arlington’s size relative to San Antonio is irrelevant. An Arlington stadium draws on the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.”

    The Dallas-Fort Worth area doesn’t pay Arlington sales tax. People who shop in Arlington do.

  44. …and people who shop in Irving, Grand Prairie and Farmers Branch do not.

    It is what it is. Once Arlington decided to roll the ball out for the Rangers with their stadium, it was only a matter of time before Jerrah would try to get his palace built there on the taxpayers’ dime. Fortunately for Arlington, there’s enough in town besides the sports facilities to keep folks from out of town coming in and spending money there – and there’s plenty of places in other cities for Arlington residents to shop in, should they believe themselves to be hard-done by the JerrahDome Tax.

    As to the Raiders and Vegas, well, we still haven’t heard from Henderson yet, so there’s still hope of more insanity breaking out.

  45. SierraSpartan: Agree. Point was San Antonio, which is 4 times larger and harder to escape/tax dodge, Oakland which is twice as large and economically more core to its region, or Las Vegas which is also twice as large and where money changes hands at a dizzying rate all _could_ raise stadium money.

    It isn’t a “could they” question. It’s an issue of priorities and stadiums are horrible investments and contribute next to nothing to a community.

    Instead of pointing at towns that say no to stadium subsidies and implying “haha, look at them, they’re poor” instead say “good, they have their heads screwed on straight.”

  46. Its funny because people were stating how stupid San Francisco was for letting the 49ers go to Santa Clara. The Giants funded the construction of their stadium. The Warriors will be doing the same thing with their new arena. Levi’s Stadium is already facing a grand jury investigation into the financial practices of the Stadium Authority. The 49ers have already requested a rent reduction and the stadium has been open for just two seasons. Football stadiums are a financial drain. If anything, I have complete admiration for the way Stanford University conducted their football stadium renovations. To my understanding, that undertaking cost less than $100 million to complete and its one of my favorite places to watch a football game.

  47. “Its funny because people were stating how stupid San Francisco was for letting the 49ers go to Santa Clara.”

    I’m not sure who those people were. Most San Franciscans I know were thrilled to be rid of them. There was zero outcry. Football stadiums are used 8 days a year and are surrounded by acres of parking lots. Short of a landfill I could not think of a worse use for waterfront property.

    Now things that actually generated controversy include the Warriors stadium, though after they paid additional money to MUNI and UCSF, it seems ok and the Super Bowl which we all hated and where vandalizing the NFL’s signs in creative ways became a popular passtime.

    I couldn’t care less about Levi’s Stadium. I want my $5M back. Do you hear me NFL?

  48. One of the smartest things a city can do is to make paying for a new stadium the problem of the next town over. Especially when Candlestick wasn’t much easier to get to than Santa Clara.

    If St. Pete can keep the Rays local while pawning them off on Tampa, it’ll be a job well done.

  49. As for “favorite” places to watch a football game, that’s not something the NFL cares about.

    My favorite place to watch a football game was pre-desecration Soldier Field. It was a big bowl with lots of seats. Lambeau Field is the same. With high seating capacities and a simple design they’re made for regular Grabowskis. Most college stadiums still are that way. While I’m not a fan of the college game, coming from an Irish-Catholic family I did get dragged to one Notre Dame game and it was better than any pro stadium for the regular fan.

    Modern stadiums are meant to cater to the skybox and steak house crowd. Some examples I’ve been to in recent years include FedEx Field, which has massive pillars that obstruct the view for perhaps a huge number of seats. Thankfully there were some empty seats near me and I would run 6 seats over after the quarterback tossed a deep pass so I could see the receiver. Lincoln Financial Field puts the top deck so high that I actually was getting vertigo even though I was only about 4 rows back. That’s so the boxes can all fit closer to the field.

    Levi’s isn’t made for regular fans either but at least by putting all the boxes on one side, it somewhat resembles a traditional stadium in the remaining 3/4 of the stadium. That’s better than most. Still, it certainly wasn’t designed with Grabowskis in mind. None of them are.

    …and what the State of Illinois did to Soldier Field is a crime against humanity.

  50. Scola,

    In this particular case, I’m not talking about the costs of “keeping” a team. I’m talking about what happens when an arena is built and the follow on revenues/level of interest aren’t a match for the investment in the stadium.

    For Jerry Jones to invest his own and others’ money in a stadium anywhere in the Dallas area made some sense because 1) there is a known level of interest in the Cowboys 2) there is a known level of discretionary income applied to the Cowboys and 3) there are companies that can buy the premium seats year after year no matter if Quincy Carter or Troy Aikman is playing QB. At least for now, and under current tax law

    San Antonio has none of these things. It has a large population at a much lower income level. It has a different mix of major employers, many of whom will not buy premium tickets (i.e. the Air force). Comparing Arlington to SA is pointless–again, a rich guy from Dallas can get to Arlington. A rich guy in Dallas is probably not going to San Antonio to watch the NFL.

    San Antonio could build a stadium, I’m sure–but the result of such an investment is often fiscal-drain situations like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers, and other teams in large-population areas where income or demand (or both) are low. That’s the second long term risk for municipalities.

  51. GDub: Now we are confusing two issues.

    One issue is “who can build a stadium?” The answer is “most any municipality.” In fact sports teams, especially municipalities, preys on struggling municipalities: Cincinnati, St Louis, Baltimore, Cleveland, etc. Heck, Detroit funded a stadium while in bankruptcy. When the confidence of a city is shaken and they are looking for any way to foster development, they are ripe for exploitation.

    In contrast think of the best-performing municipal economies in America. You’d likely name NYC, LA, SF, Seattle, Boston, etc. all of which said “build your own stadium” to at least one sports team. There’s a reason San Antonio is the intended victim and not Austin.

    Now on the flip side, there’s the business case that relies on discretionary income both for individuals and companies. If that was the consideration Oakland and LA would be the only names in consideration. They’re head and shoulders above the others in that regard. However, for that exact same reason they both are willing to say “build your own stadium.”

    Now of course their are a few exceptions to the rule–DC has never seen a stadium plan it didn’t like for example.

  52. What I think would be interesting is if the teams would actually reveal the amount of revenue (and the difference) they would get from a new stadium. Then it would be possible to evaluate this airy arguments that owners make.

    I suspect that none of these options (LV or SA) would actually increase revenue, even in a newer stadium, from ticket sales. There might be some increase due to in-stadium merchandise, but I doubt that would make up for what they would give up by leaving.

    Which leads me to believe that the Raiders maneuvering themselves into having to move might actually be their worst-case scenario. The LA option, if it happened, might be the only one that actually made the team richer.

  53. GDub: Well for what it’s worth in the modern era three teams have moved from larger markets to smaller ones lured by a new stadium.

    The Colts moved to Indy from Baltimore. They are now worth 3% less than the Ravens who replaced them.

    The Oilers moved from Houston to Nashville. They are now worth 40% less than the Texans.

    The Rams moved from LA to St Louis. They plunged to near the bottom of team values and paid a huge sum to move back.

    Moving to smaller markets hasn’t really paid off in the long run for those who tried it.

  54. If NFL teams had books that people could look at, I’d still prefer to see revenues–since team valuations have to account for things like asset scarcity and prospective owner ego. But that is a fascinating trend, particularly since teams really don’t want anyone to see their books!

  55. Forbes includes revenue estimates, which historically have been way more accurate than their valuation estimates:

    http://www.forbes.com/nfl-valuations/list/

  56. Fair enough. +7% for B’more over Indy (vs 3%) and +17% for Houston over Nashville (vs 40%) and Rams third worst instead of fifth.

  57. Scola: And the Raiders once moved to a larger market and that didn’t pay off in the long run. Moving away from an established fan base will not guarantee success. If Mark Davis believes that loyal Raiders followers from the Bay Area and Los Angeles will follow him to Las Vegas, he’s overstating. And I would be curious as to how the television schedule would work with franchise in Nevada. I’m certain the Chargers and Rams will want to control the entire Southern California network viewership. Ditto for the 49ers with Northern California.

  58. jcpardell: I made no statement about moving to larger markets (Las Vegas would be a smaller market).

    In the absence of data, I’ll go with the Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/article/nfl-to-move-all-32-teams-to-los-angeles-1845

  59. I think the Onion has it right. What’s the limiting principle here?

    I would strongly suspect that deep inside Raider HQ, the obvious best option is a new stadium in Oakland with more expensive tickets to sell. The only way to get there is to mobilize some so-far-not-yet-seen political types to spend a lot of Oakland money on it.

    This means that Oakland has to seriously pretend to negotiate with other suitors, which then means that it might box itself in to a choice between backing down entirely and taking a suboptimal option elsewhere. This doesn’t strike me as a serious negotiating tactic, or at least one with a reasonable chance of success.