Nevada Committee OK for Vegas Raiders Stadium

Another major hurdle has been cleared in order to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas when the Nevada oversight committee unanimously agreed to recommend $750million in public funding for the Las Vegas Raiders stadium project. There was plenty of speculation leading up to the meeting on how it would work out, but it’s fair to say more than a few people were surprised it was voted for unanimously, showing the desire to get the Raiders to the city that never sleeps.

$750million isn’t exactly a small amount to raise, but the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee decided that raising hotel tax in the Las Vegas area would go a long way to meeting this target. With a lot of the backing of the project focussed on bringing the Las Vegas community together, it’s understandable why the priority to raise funds for the project would rest on tourists visiting the city. An additional $650million has been committed to the project by Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, along with $500million from the Raiders themselves.

The next step on this ever winding road is to win over Brian Sandoval, the governor of Nevada. Governor Sandoval will have to call selected lawmakers into session to consider the deal before anything can go any further. No timeline has been set for this session, but people supporting the move want it done as quickly as possible so the move can be presented to league owners in January ahead of a potential team relocation vote.

If the deal is passed by the governor, then it must clear the Nevada state legislature before it can be put to team owners. If this were to happen, then three quarters of NFL owners must vote in favour of the move for it to finally go ahead. With backing from Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, and Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, who are arguably the most respected owners in the league, it would almost be a shock if the team didn’t move should it get to the voting stage

Atlanta Falcons at The Raiders Score

falcons-raidersThe Atlanta Falcons at The Raiders score ended 35-28 in favour of the away team, denying the future Vegas Raiders a 2-0 start to the season.
In another exciting game for neutral fans, both offenses ruled the day which might be surprising for two teams both headed by former defensive Coaches.

It was probably the Raider’s inability to stop the Falcons moving the chains that lead to the loss. That, and the Raider’s old problem against Tight Ends and a bit of plain bad luck.

For the majority of the game, both sides traded scores. Del Rio played his part with two successful challenges; one for the Falcons D having 12 men on the field and one for a poor spot of the ball. Both challenges resulted in the Raiders securing previously-lost first downs.

At 14-21, the coach also made another ballsey call. He let the O go for it on 4th and 1, resulting in Carr finding Crabtree on a slant to tie the scores at 21-all. This team is obviously going to go for it, no matter what.

Then the bad luck happened. Ryan marched his team down the field but looked to have failed in the red zone when hi pass hit the intended receiver on the shoulder. But as luck would have it the ricochet fell to another Falcons player who had a free walk into the end zone, putting the scores at 28-21.

Back came the raiders and it looked like they’d tied the game again with a sizzling catch and run from Cooper. Unfortunately, though, he’d stepped out of bounds and then touched the ball first, so the score was wiped off and the ball marched back down the field. To rub salt into the wounds, the next drive saw Coleman break out for a 30y run and TD to make it 35-21.

The Raiders didn’t give up, though. Holmes made a smart adjustment in the end zone to latch onto Derek Carr’s third TD of the day to bring it to 35-28. The Falcons were unusually made to punt and back came the Raiders in search of another last-minute victory. But time just wasn’t on their side. The skill team had a throw around at the end, but to no avail. The Falcons ran out 35-28 winners to put both teams on 1-1.

Summary: The Raiders’ D really needs to show up from now on, having allowed 500y in the first two weeks of the season.

It’s in the Runes with Cirque du Soleil

NFL Times Square ExperienceOne for the conspiracy theorists…

The NFL has just done a deal with The Cirque de Soleil (a Canadian acrobatic theatre company) to builkd a theatre and interactive exhibit in Times Square.

There are no fewer than Seven Cirque de Soleil shows currently in Las Vegas.  More than any other city.


NHL makes the gamble- will the NFL follow?

shutterstock_2991676News has just broken that the NHL (national hockey league) has approved an expansion team to move to Las Vegas and become the league’s 31st franchise starting play in 2017-2018. This is huge news for the city that desperately wants a major league sports, and news that could have good and bad effects on the Raiders potential move to the city.

One thing to mention is this is much more complicated than the Raiders potential move. As the Las Vegas team is a new team, and not a current one moving, it completely shakes up the entire league. All teams now go through an ‘expansion draft’ where even players on your roster can be taken off you. Each team must submit a list of exempt players, but everybody else is up for grabs and could easily end up on a new team. Doesn’t sound particularly inviting for the players does it?

This move could be good for the Raiders if the fans really get behind the team and the city goes crazy for the sport. The owner of the new NHL franchise, Bill Foley, has already expressed interest in getting the Raiders to Las Vegas, saying he think they would be great there and not having any worries over clash of fan base. Furthermore, since the team was announced the NHL team has already accepted 14,000 season-ticket deposits and sold out all 44 suites at the rink. This just shows the passion and demand for major league sports teams in Las Vegas, so who’s to say the Raiders wouldn’t be just as popular?

On the other side, if everything goes wrong for this new team then you can almost rule out a move for an NFL franchise, specifically the Raiders. If there are news stories or scandals relating to illegal gambling or players doing other things in Vegas that they shouldn’t be doing, then you will start to see the doubts beginning to emerge. The most important thing to get right is the fans coming to watch the games, and if matches are low on attendance or anything like that the NFL just won’t even consider it.

Either way this looks like a very promising news for the Raiders, and shows some doubters that a move could just happen to a city that wants all the sports it can get its hands on.

New Identity to help Young Team

The last 10 or so years haven’t been favourable for the Oakland Raiders. Since 2004 the Raiders have been through seven different head coaches and multiple starting quarterbacks. Finally, in the 2015-16 season Raiders fans will started to see some light at the end of the tunnel when the team improved by four wins on the previous season to finish 7-9 on the year. Considering the Raiders play in a division against two playoff teams, one of which ended as the Superbowl champs, this isn’t a bad mark.

The Raiders finally have a reason to be optimistic because they have three key components they haven’t had in years; star players at quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker/defensive end. Quarterback Derrick Carr and Wide receiver Amari Cooper are going into the third and second years respectively, but both players have already been selected to the pro bowl after a clear connection was made between the two last season. Khalil Mack, the Raiders star linebacker, is one of the best in his position in the league despite only going into his third season and playing a position which regularly needs experience to perform at the highest level at. Combine these three players with an excellent free agency and a promising draft and you have a team that boasts one of the top-10 most talented rosters in the league.

The question that is raised here is could a change of identity help this team? After 10 years of being a distinctly average team, the ‘Oakland’ Raiders definitely have a reputation for being losers, and any team is going to come into your stadium brimming with confidence they are going to beat you. Move to Las Vegas and you’re a fresh team with a new start and teams won’t know what to expect.

If this team really wants to start winning now, then a move would be best for them. As the legendary Al Davis frequently said in his time as the owner of the team; Just Win, Baby!