San Francisco Chronicle: Raiders to Las Vegas looks like a done deal (aka: Vegas politicians give away public money for professional sports)

 

Congratulations (wink, wink) to Las Vegas residents: You’re screwed.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Raiders appear destined to leave Oakland for Las Vegas.

NFL owners are set to vote on the team’s possible relocation Monday or Tuesday at their meeting in Phoenix. Davis needs 24 of 32 owners to vote “yes,” though contingencies attached to a vote could push the final approval back to May, during the next owners’ meeting.

League sources expect the move — which wouldn’t happen until 2020 — to be approved. The Raiders are confident enough that they are planning a news conference near the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus Wednesday, according to ESPN.

And as you might guess, the move is being made because Las Vegas politicians will do what their Oakland counterparts will not: spend public money to build a stadium that will house the team.

Those details are also in the Chronicle’s story.

For their part, Oakland officials are not willing to make the public open its wallets to appease Davis. …

Bank of America has pledged to co-finance the project, with the Raiders and NFL offering $500 million and the remaining $750 million coming from a Clark County hotel room tax.

Marketwatch has issued a stern warning to Las Vegas residents, reminding them

Instead of improving tourism infrastructure and funding facilities at a public university with tourist tax dollars, Nevada and Las Vegas would rather hand as many of them as possible to Bank of America and Raiders owner Mark Davis. The NFL will be absolutely complicit in it: Shrugging off Oakland’s proposal from Fortress Investment Group and former Raiders star Ronnie Lott and ignoring the option of having the Raiders play in Santa Clara with the San Francisco 49ers (and pay off public investment in that stadium as well).

Yet it’s the collective amnesia of Las Vegas and Nevada’s elected officials — who couldn’t pass legislation approving stadium funding fast enough — that’s ultimately to blame for what happens next. In their blind pursuit of an NFL team, they handed even more of their constituents’ money to an institution that had already brought many of them to a financial breaking point.

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