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Get used to saying the Las Vegas Raiders.

The NFL club, with a large following on the Central Coast, is set to leave Oakland after 31 of 32 NFL owners OK'd the move in a Monday morning vote. The lone NFL owner not to vote in favor of a move from Oakland to Southern Nevada was Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, a native Californian who played his high school football in Bakersfield before starring at Fresno State, had mixed feelings about the move in a post to Twitter Monday.

Although the vote brings the Raiders another step closer to moving to Las Vegas, they'll likely play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018. A new stadium in Las Vegas in the works, though it likely won't be ready for the Raiders until 2020.

The league seems excited about the move.

The move is another in the jarring relocation landscape currently making over the NFL. The Rams moved back to Los Angeles from St. Louis last year. The Chargers ditched San Diego for Los Angeles earlier this year. Now the Raiders are headed to Nevada. 

The Raiders relocating to Las Vegas has been fascinating to watch unfold. Mainly because of owner Mark Davis, who has tried virtually every avenue at his disposal to keep the club in Oakland. 

The team and Alameda County have tried for years to keep the Raiders in Oakland and move them out of the Oakland Coliseum, a 60-year-old stadium that is also home to the Oakland A's. 

Davis has admitted that he doesn't have the liquidity to fund a stadium on his own. Most sports franchise owners, not just those in the NFL, typically have the assets to fund their own stadiums, but would rather have taxpayers foot the bill. Alameda County would not budge, refusing to pay. 

The Las Vegas legislature passed a hotel tax that is expected to generate $750 million for the new 65,000-seat stadium in Vegas that is expected to cost $1.9 billion. The Raiders will add $500 million and Bank of America is also a partner in the deal. 

You know how I feel about this? Actually, I think it's a pretty level-headed move by everyone involved. The Alameda County taxpayers shouldn't pay to fund an NFL stadium. In fact, no taxpayers should. It's actually quite a ridiculous proposition that I can't believe is so commonplace. 

Why would the public fund a stadium that is used almost exclusively by a private organization? Should taxpayers fund skyscrapers for banks and finance companies? No. And they wouldn't. 

Davis tried to keep the team in Oakland, but when a deal couldn't be struck to move the Raiders out of the dilapidated Coliseum, he looked elsewhere for a home for his team. Davis is the son of longtime Raiders owner Al Davis, who died in 2011. 

"My father always said, 'the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,' and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness," Mark Davis said in a statement. "I would like to thank Commissioner [Roger] Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment. Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality."

Las Vegas welcomed a legitimate sports franchise with welcome arms and the Nevada legislature was able to finagle public money to help fund a stadium. The NFL, which had been against a team in Vegas, a town known for sports betting, shifted its stance to make it happen.    

Davis added, "The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area."


Sports Editor

Alumni Fresno State