CHARLOTTE, N.C. >> Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis says the team has begun conducting market research studies to gather information about a potential move to Las Vegas.
Davis said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that the initial reports have come back “positive” about the feasibility of such a move. Unable to get a suitable stadium deal in Oakland, Davis wants to move the Raiders to the gambling city.
“I have given my commitment to Las Vegas and if they can get done what they’re talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas,” Davis said.
In April, Davis appeared before a Las Vegas stadium commission to not only pledge to move the Raiders to the city, but put $500 million into a $1.4 billion stadium. Davis gave no timetable for a potential move, saying it is up to the legislative process.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Davis said.
The potential move was not discussed during league meetings Tuesday, but some owners did express support for Davis and a move to Las Vegas.
“I bet you every visiting team would have a lot of fans going there for weekends,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “. … If he’d like to move there and (the city) is supportive, and Oakland doesn’t do what they should do, then I’m behind him.”
San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Davis has worked hard to get something done in Oakland but that “it’s a tough market for them to have a good private partnership with.”
The Raiders have a one-year lease at the Oakland Coliseum and two one-year options after that, Davis said.
“We want to do it right, so it’s not a real rushed thing,” Davis said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell noted talk of a potential Raiders move is “very premature,” saying there is no proposal that Davis has presented to the league.
“We believe in that market (of Oakland), but there has to be a solution that is developed,” Goodell said. “It’s not just on us. There has got to be a cooperative agreement to find that solution. It’s been a long time coming. This didn’t start 12 months ago. This has been a long time in seeking a solution and it’s time to get to that.”
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