The Oakland Raiders are officially moving to Las Vegas, showcasing yet another perfect example of greed in sports—and particularly the NFL.
Constructing the new stadium in Vegas is projected to cost $1.9 billion. Taxpayers, regardless of whether or not they live in Nevada, will be shelling out $750 million to pay for the Raiders’ new home, complete with retractable roof and state-of-the-art facilities. And just like that, we were signed up to foot the massive bill—without a say or a vote—by officials that most of us never elected.
The reason why this is even happening is that the city of Oakland is unwilling to build a new stadium for the Raiders, just like how the Chargers moved to Los Angeles because of the city of San Diego being unwilling to build them a new stadium.
These cities are virtually held hostage by billionaire team owners who are part of multi-billion dollar leagues. For some reason, the majority of the costs of building these monstrous stadiums ends up with the state while the majority of its generated revenue goes to the owner and the league.
This is a huge problem that has really shown itself in the last two years with the movement of three NFL teams and the start of a new hockey team, also in Vegas. The commissioners of each league need to take a hard look at how they do business with the cities they live in.
If they truly care about the fans and their communities like they claim to, they would change the way they conduct contract talks with the city. Shouldering more of the load for the stadiums would not only be a great look, it would also open up more markets that cannot pay for a stadium.
While property taxes and bringing in new customers for restaurants and hotels is something that comes with the team, it reaches nowhere near the cost of building a stadium. The NFL finally showed their true colors, and it was all green.