Las Vegas Raiders???
“The NFL owns a day of the week, the same day the Church used to own. Now it’s theirs. They’re very big.” – Dr. Cyril Wecht from the movie, Concussion
The NFL is “worshipped like religion.” Phrases like that are not hyperbolic and just someone trying to find the right words to describe the passion. The NFL is… HUGE, and the mere mention of the remote possibility on a franchise landing here, let alone the Oakland Raiders entertaining the notion of relocating to Las Vegas is mind numbing. Here’s the reality, (as if a true sports fan needs any reminding) baseball is not America’s pastime… it is football not futbol. The most powerful league brand in all of professional sports is not MLB, the NBA, NHL, or MLS (sorry you too FIFA)…it’s the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE – the unequivocal world champion, and don’t forget it.
The proposed $1.2 billion domed stadium by the Las Vegas Sands to be built on a 42-acre plot owned by UNLV last week reverberated like a shock wave throughout the Las Vegas Valley. The seismic aftershocks are still being felt as of the publishing of this blog. With all due respect to the NHL and the proposed new franchise touted for Las Vegas and the T-Mobile Arena…WE WANT FOOTBALL! The NHL is not the NFL now is it? Quite honestly, it’s not even remotely close. Landing a NHL franchise as opposed to a NFL franchise can’t even be compared to “always the bridesmaid never the bride”; it would be more like…” always a fiancée never the bride.” Here’s the fact Jack…a NFL franchise elevates the stature of any city to that of the Major Leagues (thanks baseball for the analogy). Las Vegas would capture the world’s attention like that of a Super Bowl-level audience. Perception is reality.
‘IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME’
UNLV is open to plans being pushed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. for construction of a 65,000-seat stadium on land recently bought by the university, but its president indicated this past Thursday that other options are still on the table.
Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that runs the Venetian and Palazzo on the Strip, wants to see a stadium erected on the lot that UNLV purchased on Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane. UNLV has openly discussed the idea of a putting a stadium there, and its president, Len Jessup, wrote in a memo that the Oakland Raiders were eyeing the site.
The plan supported by Las Vegas Sands could also fulfill another goal for UNLV: Getting its football team out of Sam Boyd Stadium and closer to campus.
“If a public-private partnership could emerge with folks putting together a stadium on that land in a way that would have little or no cost for UNLV, but it would be a facility that we could use — that would be the ideal situation for the university,” Jessup said. “We need to have a stadium close to campus, wherever it may go.”
Support from Adelson, who’s consistently ranked one of the world’s richest people, could mean a better fate for the latest proposal.
“Projects like this need a lot of very, very strong leadership — a lot of conviction, a lot of focus, and great resources,” said Craig Cavileer of Majestic Realty, the project’s development partner. “Certainly Sheldon and his team have proved time and time again that they produce great projects.”
As the premier Las Vegas entertainment production company and Las Vegas party planner, Destination Fabulous Las Vegas DMC wholeheartedly endorses this ambitious project, and welcomes the opportunity to embrace members of the Raider Nation (also known as Mud-Ducks) to our version of The Black Hole.
In Vegas terms this is a longshot; in football terms this is a “Hail Mary.” Nonetheless, if we can’t have the Packer’s Aaron Rodgers throwing a very long pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success then my money is on Sheldon Adelson. A NFL franchise is a game changer for our city no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Las Vegas Raiders…has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? If not, you’ll see me center ice riding shotgun on the Zamboni…and I won’t be the one holding the bouquet.
The Associated Press is cited for this blog.