NFL owners approved the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas at the league meetings on Monday.
The vote was a foregone conclusion after the league and Raiders were not satisfied with Oakland’s proposals for a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up with $750m in public money. Bank of America also is giving Raiders owner Mark Davis a $650m loan, further helping convince the owners to allow the third team relocation in just over a year.
NFL targets changes to speed up games including fewer commercial breaks
The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles in 2016, and in January the Chargers relocated from San Diego to LA. The Raiders likely will play two or three more years in the Bay Area before their $1.7bn stadium near the Las Vegas strip is ready.
Las Vegas, long taboo to the NFL because of its legalized gambling, also is getting an NHL team this fall, the Golden Knights.
Shortly before Monday’s vote, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf released a letter being hand-delivered to individual NFL team owners reiterating the case for a new, fully-financed Raiders’ stadium in the area.
“Never that we know of has the NFL [sic] voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully-financed option before them with all the issues addressed,” Schaaf wrote. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end.”
The Raiders vote was one of many issues on the table this week. Among those:
Shortening regular-season overtimes from 15 minutes to 10.
Allowing referees to use tablets to review plays rather than “go under the hood,” with final decisions being made by Dean Blandino and his officiating staff in New York, with consultation with the ref.
Prohibiting “leapers” who try to block field goals and extra points.
Amending the coaches’ challenge system, either by allowing a third challenge if a team is successful on one of its first two tries; now, it must be successful on both challenges to get a third.
Entirely eliminating the three challenges per team.
Permitting a coach to challenge any officials’ decision except on scoring plays or turnovers.
Adding protection for a defenseless player to a receiver running a route.
Eliminating the summer cutdown to 75 players, leading to just one cut day at the end of the preseason.
Allowing teams to opt out of using the “color rush” jerseys in Thursday night games.
Letting clubs negotiate with a potential hire for head coach even when that coach’s team is still playing in the postseason.
Permitting a team to hire another team’s employee during the season as long as the employer consents.