Al Davis loved Las Vegas and now his son is moving his dad’s team to Nevada.
This has been a busy week for Mark Davis, the front man for the National Football League’s Raiders franchise that presently is housed in Oakland but will eventually be headquartered in Las Vegas and is playing a home game today in Mexico City. Davis gave up a home game in Oakland to help the National Football League’s international initiative in hopes of finding a place that would pay big money for a game through ticket sales and a market which would be receptive to watching the product on TV and buy assorted Raiders, New England Patriots, the visiting team in this game, and other NFL teams trinkets including hats, shorts and jerseys. Oakland still needs to figure out how to pay down the debt at the city stadium that Davis’s business is abandoning after the city invested more than a hundred million dollars to make the place football friendly for Al Davis in 1995 when Oakland lured Davis to bring back his business to Oakland. Then there is the cost of building the Raiders Las Vegas home base.
Las Vegas lured Mark Davis with the promise of a great stadium and added $750 million worth of taxpayers’ money to help build the facility. But there could be a monkey wrench thrown in if the House of Representative and the Senate are able to pass a tax reform bill that includes the following provision. Interest to finance the construction of, or capital expenditures for, a professional sports stadium would be subject to Federal tax. Since the proposal is just that a proposal and may never be signed into law, Las Vegas officials are not sure how much of a financial hit the three partners in the stadium endeavor, taxpayers, Davis and the NFL might absorb should the tax code change. Davis is on the hook for $650 million. The Las Vegas euphoria may become a costly hangover.
Davis is not staying in Oakland.