The Raiders’ potential move to Las Vegas is gaining steam but there are still major obstacles in their way, one of the biggest being owner Mark Davis.
While Jerry Jones endorsed a move to Las Vegas last week, he did it with a caveat. Mike Freeman reported that Jones only wants a team in Vegas with “‘the right ownership'” and “has been pushing for Mark Davis to sell the Raiders” for years. It’s not just Jones’ approval Davis needs though. To move, he would need 24 of 32 owners to vote yes which is going to be twice as hard for him as it would be for others.
Remember his dad, Al Davis and his constant fights against the league? Well the other owners do. Texans owner Bob McNair has been quoted as saying “Oakland gets nothing. Al used to sue us all the time.” Though there are some new owners who weren’t around when Al Davis was suing the league left and right, there are enough who were to block a move. Certainly, one has to infer that memories of Al Davis played a role in the Raiders getting the third crack at Los Angeles out of three teams.
Some have brought up that Mark Davis may follow in the footsteps of his father and move the team regardless of a potential vote, suing the league in the process. While this may be appealing to some and Al certainly had success doing it, it’s unlikely for a couple reasons. First, Al Davis was one of the most unique and eccentric owners in the league. Few others would dare challenge the league in such a way and Mark Davis doesn’t seem to be one of them. Second, Mark Davis may not have the money to get wrapped up in an antitrust suit. He’s reportedly one of the poorer owners in the league (although in most circles $500 million and a football team doesn’t constitute poor) and some have cast doubt on whether or not Davis has pockets deep enough to move without league approval.
Moving a team is a gargantuan task on its own. Moving a team when the other owners may be holding a 30-year old grudge makes that task a lot bigger.