By RICHARD N. VELOTTA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Proponents of luring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas to a planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium take on a new challenge with a familiar strategy beginning this week.
Instead of working to convince 63 Nevada lawmakers of the benefits of a stadium as they did last week, development team leaders will have to convince at least 24 of 32 National Football League team owners of why Las Vegas is worthy of becoming home to an NFL team.
And, while representatives of the family of Sheldon Adelson and a small army of lobbyists did most of the work to convince two-thirds of the state’s legislators to vote their way, the Raiders and their owner, Mark Davis, will lead the effort to persuade the NFL owners.
Davis and his executives begin the effort Tuesday when NFL owners begin two days of meetings in Houston. Relocation of the team isn’t on the agenda of the who league’s fall meetings, but Davis plans to introduce some details of the proposal in advance of January’s winter meetings when a relocation decision is expected to be reached.
“The timing was perfect,” said Andy Abboud, vice president of government relations and community development for Las Vegas Sands and a spokesman for the Adelson family on stadium matters. If the Legislature hadn’t approved the stadium financing plan this past week, or if it had punted the decision to the Clark County Commission, then the developers would have missed next week’s presentation to the NFL owners.
“The rest of the work is the Raiders and the NFL,” Abboud said. “Our role sort of diminishes, but now we have a lot of work to do in terms of starting to construct this thing and a lot of planning work needs to be done.”