It will be months before NFL owners vote on the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas, but owner Mark Davis is laying the groundwork.
On Wednesday, Davis presented the 31 other owners the $1.9 billion stadium plan that was approved by state lawmakers last week and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval Monday.
"I'm not trying to read the room, right now. We are just trying to get the process together and get the deal together," Davis said after Wednesday’s meeting in Houston.
The Raiders owner needs approval of three-fourths of league owners before he can move, which is not a guarantee even though Commissioner Roger Goodell said things are not looking good when it comes to efforts to keep the team in Oakland.
"We would love to have the Raiders stay in Oakland,” Goodell said. “We think that that's a positive thing. We've been also very clear over the last couple of years that it requires getting long-term resolution to their stadium. We still don't have that solution. Our staff is working with the mayor and the officials in the Oakland area to see if there are alternatives out there. But, we don't have one yet."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf released a statement late Wednesday saying she must remain clearheaded in efforts to keep the Raiders in town.
“While I’m committed to keeping the Raiders, I will not enter into a bidding war with Nevada using public funds,” Schaaf said in the statement.
The mayor said she is working with Alameda County and former NFL star Ronnie Lott to present a “serious plan” in the coming weeks.
Outside the owners’ meeting, Davis said he remains committed to seeing the deal in Nevada through.
"It’s unfair for people to keep bringing up, what if Oakland does this, what if Oakland does that? Las Vegas has already done what they are supposed to do," Davis said.
Construction of the 65,000-seat stadium will not begin until the NFL approves the move.
Under the deal signed by Sandoval, Clark County would finance $750 million of the stadium through an increase to the room tax.
The Raiders would cover $500 million and the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp CEO Sheldon Adelson would pay the remainder of the costs.
The big question is how long will it be before the owners vote on the Raiders’ relocation.
Davis has publicly said he plans to keep the team in Oakland for at least two more seasons. The team has two one-year options on the lease at the Coliseum.
But with construction of the Las Vegas stadium on hold until owners approve a move, those in the Silver State would like a vote sooner rather than later, while Davis said the most important thing is to “do this right.”
This as both the team and NFL are doing the necessary research.
“There's still a great deal of information that we need to gather with respect to the circumstances we see in Las Vegas in the opportunities and also the challenges,” Goodell said. “Those are the things we'll look at through the committee and report back to them maybe as early as December, but more likely later than that."
While two of the highest profile owners, Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, have voiced support of Las Vegas as an NFL market, others are taking a wait and see approach.
“We want to know what level of corporate support is there,” Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair said. “We’ll review it once the full package is put together.”