It appears yet another NFL team is taking a gamble on its future by changing scenery.
The Oakland Raiders will file relocation papers to move the franchise to Las Vegas, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, citing sources. The team is expected to make the filing official some time in the next few days, per Rapoport.
The news all but ensures the Raiders will be leaving Oakland in the near future. The city has made “no progress” to keep the team in the Bay Area, sources told Rapoport, failing to come up with a stadium proposal that meets the league’s or the club’s standards.
Once relocation papers are filed, the Raiders would need at least 24 votes from owners at the NFL Spring Meeting in March to make the move official. According to Rapoport, there’s a good chance they’d get those votes, as owner support for moving the franchise to Vegas reportedly is “making progress and gathering momentum.”
It still would be a while before the team starts playing games in Vegas, as owner Mark Davis said publicly he’d keep the team in Oakland for the next two seasons while a new stadium in Vegas is built. The team also has yet to come to terms on a deal for the Las Vegas Stadium project, estimated at $1.9 billion.
But the wheels for the move are well in motion, and Rapoport says it’s “only a matter of time” before the Black and Silver’s relocation to Sin City becomes official.
The Raiders’ relocation would be the NFL’s third in the last two seasons; the Rams moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis after the 2015 season, and the Chargers fled San Diego to join them earlier this week.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images