It’s official: the Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas!
The NFL owners voted on the matter today at the league meetings in Phoenix and it easily got the two-thirds vote that was required, with 31 of 32 teams voting in favor of the move. The Miami Dolphins were the only team that voted no, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (so yes, the Colts voted in favor of the Raiders’ move).
This is the third NFL team relocation recently, as the Rams, Chargers, and now Raiders are all moving. The Raiders’ deal with Las Vegas seemed destined to pass, as they already had $750 million pledged toward a new stadium there via public funding. The move won’t be immediate, however, and the Raiders are expected to spend two more seasons in Oakland before making the move (which isn’t exactly optimal from a PR and ticket sales standpoint, I’m sure). At least, that’s the plan owner Mark Davis explained today in a press conference.
The earliest the Colts might play in Las Vegas would be in 2018, but that would be based on two things: 1) the Raiders actually playing in Vegas in the 2018 season; and 2) the Colts and Raiders finishing in the same place in their respective divisions next year. So it’s more likely than not that the Colts will be waiting a while to travel to Vegas, since the Raiders plan to still play in Oakland for the next two seasons. They Colts will then host the Raiders in 2019.