As time goes on, the presence of an NFL team in Las Vegas seems more of a question of when, not if. Especially if that team is, say, the Raiders.
“These talks have been ongoing,” Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “At (one) point, the Rams were looking for a new home (and) the Chargers as well. The Raiders, my biggest fear going right up front was that (Mark Davis) was using us for a wedge. But the reality is he has said in the public, out at these meetings that we’re holding (to discuss) financing, that he’s ready to put in $500 million of his money. And to me, that really says something. It’s a really earnest effort.”
The Raiders-to-Vegas idea didn’t come about in the last few years, either. No, it came about well before then.
“Al (Davis) used to come to Las Vegas with frequency,” Goodman said. “Al and his wife, Carol, would appear all the time and we would kid about just football and the propensity for the bigness of what it means to the community. We were way too small. We were 100,000 or 200,000 people. But when I think back to those days, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, look how ready we are now. Al would have loved it.’ . . . I really just want to see it happen. This community is so ready. They’re so excited about it.”
The biggest hurdle to overcome would potentially be stadium funding and layout.
“Because it’s Vegas, it has to be top of the line,” Goodman said. “It can’t be just another boring stadium. We do things top of the line when we do them. That’s the biggest (discussion point) once we get over the hurdles (and are) at the point of signing on a dotted line and (finding out) how fast can we get it going.”
Goodman and her husband, Oscar, have been Chargers season-ticket holders for the last 40 years. They would love to see the franchise win a Super Bowl at some point, but they would welcome the Raiders with open arms.
“Las Vegas really has been ready,” Goodman said. “We’re at 2.1 million people, we’ve grown up, we’ve got great culture – we’ve got so many things going for us. We’re ready.”