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49ers to lose Bay Area neighbor Raiders to Las Vegas

Mar 27, 2017 at 11:14 AM


The San Francisco 49ers will soon have the Bay Area all to themselves. A vote to allow the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas has reportedly passed at the NFL owners meetings on Monday.

The meetings began Sunday in Phoenix and run through March 29. A vote on the Raiders move to Las Vegas was expected. In January, Raiders owner Mark Davis filed an application to move the team – potentially in time for the 2020 season.

The organization is looking to build a $1.9 billion domed stadium near the infamous Las Vegas Strip. Nearly $1.4 billion of that cost would come from public funding and from a Bank of America loan, leaving an initial $500,000 buy-in for the Raiders.

The Raiders are currently playing at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum – a converted baseball facility that is also the home of the MLB team, the Oakland Athletics. The stadium is the only dual-purpose facility left in the NFL and is considered to be among the worst in the league.

"We're particularly disappointed for the fans of the Oakland Raiders in Oakland," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday. "This is something that I know will be seen with a great deal of disappointment by them. We understand that and we worked tirelessly and as hard as we could to find that solution and we just couldn't get that done."

RELATED Report: Raiders could temporarily share Levi's Stadium with 49ers

"I have mixed feelings, obviously," said Raiders owner Mark Davis. "I love Oakland. I love the fans in Oakland and I know there's going to be disappointment and maybe some anger. I just hope that, in the future, as we play in Oakland this year, that they understand that it isn't the players, it wasn't the coaches that made this decision, but it was me that made it and if they have anybody to talk to about it, it should be me. I will, in the coming days, try to explain to them, what went into making this difficult decision."

The Raiders needed 24 of the 32 NFL owner votes to win approval for the move. They received 31 votes approving the move with ownership of the Miami Dolphins being responsible for the only vote against it.

In the meantime, the Raiders have two more years on their lease at their current home, the Oakland Coliseum, and could potentially relocate to a temporary location for the 2019 season.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, one potential temporary home for the Raiders could be the current home of the 49ers – Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. "One option, I'm told, is Levi's Stadium," Rapoport said Monday. "For 2019, certainly is an option. For 2018, believed to be an option as well. It's not something, from my understanding, that the Niners would oppose. They've been very vocal about welcoming the Raiders if that is necessary. So that would be a potential option for the Raiders if Las Vegas is not ready to actually join forces with the 49ers for a year or two."

"The Oakland Raiders are going to move to Las Vegas," wrote Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports in a report on March 21. "I am finally convinced of it."

The Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995 after spending 13 years in Los Angeles. The league had been trying to find a way to keep the Raiders from moving, including possibly sharing the cost of building or leasing the 49ers' home, Levi's Stadium, and making it a two-team stadium. The Raiders never appeared to be open to becoming roommates with the 49ers in Santa Clara.
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