NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he sees an “upward trajectory” in Las Vegas after a five-hour meeting with owners.
Executives discussed stadium proposals in San Diego, Oakland and Las Vegas among other issues during the meeting in Dallas.
When asked about efforts to build stadiums in San Diego and Oakland to keep the Chargers and Raiders in their current homes the commissioner did not sound optimistic.
“We have not made great progress in Oakland and San Diego,” Goodell said. “There is not a stadium proposal on the table that we think addresses the long-term issues of the clubs and the communities.”
Those statements came after Alameda County Supervisors and the Oakland City Council approved negotiations on a $1.3 billion stadium plan led by former Raider Ronnie Lott.
Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has not been involved in those plans, instead focusing his efforts on a move to Las Vegas.
Goodell wasn’t alone in his opinion.
“In terms of anything productive going on in either San Diego or Oakland in terms of a new stadium, I just don’t hear or see anything like that going on,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said as he left the meetings.
Davis has said he is committed to the $1.9 billion Las Vegas stadium package approved by Nevada lawmakers earlier this year.
That proposal was also discussed during the meeting as owners were presented with market studies currently underway in Oakland and Las Vegas.
“There are some real strengths to the Las Vegas market,” Goodell said. “It is clear that the Las Vegas market has become a more diversified market and more broadly involved with entertainment, hosting big events. And there is a growth to the market. You can see the upward trajectory when you look at the market data of where it is going.”
Goodell also said the owners prefer not to move any teams, calling relocation a “painful” process.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank echoed that sentiment, before saying it can only extend so far.
“At some point you do run out of options and we need to be respectful of that, and these cities and these clubs have been going through it for a very long time,” Blank said.
While the final decisions will require the support of 24 of the 32 owners, some of them already seem ready to roll the dice in Las Vegas.
“I certainly think the market has the size potential and I think importantly as well it has the ability to grow,” Irsay said.
Relocation paperwork has to be filed with the league by Febuary 15th, but cannot be filed before the team’s season ends.