After months of talk and speculation, the Oakland Raiders have officially filed the paperwork to move the franchise to Las Vegas. The move was anticipated by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who reported Saturday that the Raiders would file their relocation paperwork any day. NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy released a statement to Twitter on Thursday.
The Raiders expect to receive the mandatory 24 owner votes necessary to authorize the move at the owners’ annual meeting in Phoenix late this March.
Las Vegas, who has historically been a problematic city for professional sports franchises because of its widespread legal wagering. The Raiders’ proposed move comes after Las Vegas received its first professional sports team, the NHL’s Golden Knights, who are set to begin playing next season.
The Raiders have a stadium plan in the works for Las Vegas, a 65,000-seat mega stadium which frankly looks straight out of the “California Love” music video, but reports suggest it might not be ready until the 2020 season, meaning local Oakland fans don’t have to worry about the move for roughly another three years.
This development comes only a week after the Chargers announce a move from San Diego to Los Angeles and a year after the Rams moved back to L.A. from St. Louis.