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July 21, 2019

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Raiders file paperwork to move to Las Vegas


Eric Christian Smith / AP

Raiders owner Mark Davis watches teams warm up before the first half of an AFC Wild Card NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Oakland Raiders, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Houston.

Updated Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 | 12:06 p.m.

The Oakland Raiders have filed paperwork with the NFL to relocate to Las Vegas, the league confirmed this morning.

"Today, the Oakland Raiders submitted an application to relocate their franchise to Las Vegas, as is provided for under the NFL policy and procedures for proposed franchise relocations," the NFL said. "The application will be reviewed in the coming weeks by league staff and the stadium and finance committees."

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, who earlier announced the filing via Twitter, said in a statement, "This is very exciting for Las Vegas. Many great people have put in a lot of time and effort to get us this far."

"I am optimistically looking forward to the league meetings, and hope that someday soon we will be able to welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to Nevada," he said.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said on Twitter, "Excited that the Raiders have taken another step toward making Las Vegas their home. Las Vegas is ready for major league sports!"

The Raiders made no immediate comment.

The move must be approved by 24 of the league’s 32 owners. A vote is expected in March.

Oakland would be the third franchise in the last two years to relocate — the Rams went from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and earlier this month, the Chargers bolted San Diego also for Los Angeles.

San Diego is still interested in hosting a team, and the Raiders could have been viewed as a viable option. But Qualcomm Stadium is outdated and voters didn’t OK funds to help build a new facility.

In Las Vegas, the team is proposed to play at a proposed $1.9 billion stadium near the Strip. The state last fall passed legislation to contribute $750 million in public money for the facility, which would also house UNLV football.

That leaves the Raiders and Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands to finance the rest. The initial plan was for the Raiders to contribute $500 million and Adelson the remaining $650 million. But they still haven’t come to terms, possibly because Adelson may want to purchase part of the team or seek a path to control it, according to Pro Football Talk.

The Goldman Sachs Group, an investment firm, has expressed interest in providing funding if Adelson and the Raiders can’t agree.

Andy Abboud, the Sands executive working on the project, called the filing "one of those moments that makes it real" and vowed that necessary negotiations will be completed.

"The people of Las Vegas should be excited that the NFL is coming to town," Abboud said. "Business deals take time to work out, but everything will work out in the end."

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval credited Davis with fulfilling a promise to seek the move.

"Mark Davis is a man of his word and the filing of the Raiders' application for relocation of the franchise with the NFL is a significant step in bringing the team to Las Vegas," Sandoval said.

Oakland reportedly would continue playing in Northern California on one-year lease agreements at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The 2020 season could be the first in Las Vegas.

A statement from an investment group trying to get approval for a new $1.3 billion, 55,000-seat stadium in Oakland said the filing wasn't a surprise. The investors are anchored by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and former quarterback Rodney Peete.

"The team is doing what it needs to do to keep its options open in Las Vegas," the statement from Lott and Fortress Investment Group said. "We will also be providing additional information and data to the Raiders and the NFL so that they can see there is a real and viable option to remain in Oakland."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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