John Locher/Associated Press
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis
Mark Davis needs majority support from the other NFL owners if he wants to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, and he has a powerful voice backing him in New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft said Friday, per Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “I know Mark Davis has tried so hard in Oakland. If they won’t do it…I want to support him.”
On May 13, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported an unnamed NFL owner feels there’s as high as a 75 percent chance that Oakland will move to Vegas and start anew.
Kraft thinks times have changed and that Las Vegas is a market worth exploring, per Bell:
I came into the league in ’94. Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas.
In late April, Davis met with Las Vegas officials and voiced his commitment to moving the Raiders, saying he wasn’t using the city as a “bargaining chip,” per Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. So far, nothing has been said to sway Davis’ mind, as long as the plan to build a $1.4 billion stadium near the Strip goes through.
“Whatever the risks, they are no greater (in Las Vegas) than playing a game in New Jersey,” Kraft said, per Bell.
It’s one thing to have an owner say he supports the decision. It’s another to have Kraft, a four-time Super Bowl-winning owner, voice his opinion in favor of the move. Kraft’s comments are likely to resonate with the rest of the league.