NFL owners today voted 31 to 1 to allow the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas, setting the stage to deprive Bay Area fans of a beloved football franchise that first began in Oakland in 1960. As NFL.com reports, the vote took place at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, and the planned move to Nevada will be the team's third in its history, following a move to Los Angeles in 1982 and a move back to Oakland in 1995.
As the SF Business Times reports, the only dissenting vote came from the Miami Dolphins.
Raiders owner Mark Davis, whose father Al took the team to LA in the 1980s, issued a statement saying, "The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff." Davis added, "We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf made a last-ditch effort with a hand-delivered letter Sunday to NFL owners, as KRON 4 reports, reiterating the city's plan for a new $1.3 billion stadium for the team NFL commissioner Roger Goodell already responded to the Oakland plan over the weekend saying it "does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable time frame, and free of major contingencies."
Some Oakland fans also wrote an open letter pleading with Davis to keep the team here.
The New York Times laid out the various reasons the team wants to make the move, which include Oakland city officials "dragging their feet" over the years to come up with a stadium plan, and long-held tensions between Al Davis and the city. The elder Davis is also said to have a great affinity for Las Vegas, which has been actively trying to woo the team and has promised to subsidize the new domed stadium with $750 million in public funds.
And the team has been looking to move for several years now, having lost out on a chance to move to Los Angeles, something that the NFL allowed both the Rams and the Chargers to do instead.
As of now, it looks like the Raiders will still be playing at the Oakland Coliseum through the 2020, with the Las Vegas stadium likely taking three years to build.
Meanwhile, someone already updated their Wikipedia page to say the team is based in Las Vegas.
Previously: Raiders File Paperwork With NFL To Move To Las Vegas