Those sentiments were echoed by others with knowledge of the league’s inner workings.
“I’m guessing it gets done,” one of those people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “It really comes down to: What else are you gonna do?”
Owners are scheduled to gather this weekend at a Phoenix-area resort for three days of meetings, officially beginning Monday, at the annual league meeting.
A joint owners’ committee, consisting of members of the finance and stadium committees, is poised to recommend that the owners vote at this meeting on the Raiders’ proposed move. The relocation would have to be approved by at least 24 of the 32 owners.
The joint committee has not yet decided whether to take the next step and formally recommend approval of the move to the owners, according to a person close to the process.
Such a recommendation could be meaningful to the owners. Committee recommendations generally are followed. However, the owners rejected a recommendation by their L.A. committee last year when they voted on the sport’s return to Los Angeles. The committee recommended the Carson, Calif., stadium proposal made by the Raiders and Chargers. However, the owners chose the Inglewood stadium project proposed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
A move by the Raiders, if approved, would be the third franchise relocation ratified by the owners in a little more than a year. The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles last year, and the Chargers this year exercised their option to join them.
A significant number of owners seem reluctantly in favor of the move, according to people within the sport. Those owners appear to prefer the Oakland market over the Las Vegas market but cite the lack of what the league regards as a viable new-stadium deal in Oakland. Wariness over the gambling-related ramifications of placing a franchise in Vegas seems to have subsided but some concerns over the size of the market have persisted.
Owners who have not been directly involved in the Vegas deliberations will want to be updated at this meeting on the details of the stadium deal in Las Vegas, those close to the process said. The deal nearly unraveled when casino mogul Sheldon Adelson withdrew but Bank of America reportedly will provide the $650 million that was to be contributed by Adelson. The Raiders are to contribute $500 million toward the $1.9 billion stadium deal and there is $750 million of public funding in place.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he would keep the franchise in Oakland while a new stadium in Vegas would be under construction.