Raiders Inch Closer to Las Vegas, Who Knows What's Going on With the Chargers

The NFL's Stadium Committee and Finance Committee both met today to (mostly) discuss the Raiders potential move to Las Vegas.

by Sean Newell
Jan 11 2017, 10:51pm

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the NFL's Stadium and Finance Committees held a joint meeting in New York in order to hash out some of the details in the potential relocation of both the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers have until this Tuesday to decide whether to exercise an option to become tenants at Stan Kroenke's Factory of Rams-ness in Los Angeles. Should they decide against the move, the Raiders would have next dibs.

Neither team is especially excited about sharing space with the Rams, but as of right now the Raiders have the only viable alternative, thanks to a mutual courtship with Las Vegas, where the Nevada senate has already approved $750 million in public money to be earmarked for a stadium. San Diego has tried to fleece its fans and residents via a new, publicly-funded stadium, but that proposition was shut down in a recent referendum vote. The NFL reportedly has serious concerns about the financial implications of having not one, but two terrible, head-coachless franchises in Los Angeles and seems inclined to work out some kind of deal to buy the Chargers more time to fleece San Diego, i.e. make it financially worth their while to stay in town long enough for another referendum, without losing the option in Los Angeles.

So, not surprisingly, on the eve of the Stadium Committee and Finance Committee meetings, the NFL sounded more amenable to a franchise in Las Vegas than it had previously been. Indeed, after the meetings, Oakland seems closer to Vegas than ever before. The meeting's primary focus was on the Raiders relocation and, according to NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman, "there was little to no discussion on the topic of the Chargers." Earlier, Jason La Confora floated the idea that the NFL could offer San Diego certain financial subsidies to update their current stadium. It appears that did not happen this afternoon, though.

Among the topics that actually were discussed was the potential relocation fee for the move to Las Vegas, and while no specific numbers were thrown out, the firm the league hired to analyzed the potential fee for the Rams move from St. Louis to Los Angeles was hired to do the same for Oakland. The Raiders have not filed any formal relocation paperwork—they have until February 15 to do so—but the general feeling around the league is that this meeting was set to ensure things would go smoothly when the topic of the Raiders relocation comes up at the NFL's spring meeting in March.