NFL owners approved their third franchise relocation in less than two years Monday, with the Raiders getting the green light to move from Oakland to Las Vegas.
It's the second time the franchise has departed Oakland, so longtime fans in the Bay Area unfortunately are all too familiar with losing their home team. Putting a franchise in Las Vegas, however, is entirely uncharted territory.
Here's what you need to know about the details surrounding the Raiders' move to the desert.
Why are the Raiders leaving Oakland?
Despite years of trying, the team has been unable to secure a deal for a new stadium in the Bay Area. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is one of the NFL's oldest, having opened in 1966. It doesn't generate the high-end revenue streams NFL teams demand these days, and the opening of the 49ers' state-of-the-art Levi's Stadium in 2014 has only exacerbated the divide between the local rivals.
Why are the Raiders moving to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas has become increasingly aggressive in pursuing major sports franchises and finally landed an NHL expansion team, the Golden Knights, which will begin play next season at the year-old T-Mobile Arena. State and local government officials have mostly been fervent backers of a bid to lure an NFL team, agreeing to $750 million in bonds for stadium construction that will be financed by a room tax in Clark County. Those types of deals are difficult to come by these days, and Raiders owner Mark Davis jumped at the offer.
When will the Raiders move?
The team's lease in Oakland runs through the 2018 season, and a statement released by the team after Monday's vote says the Raiders plan to stay in the Colseum until then, but there is a possibility they could leave earlier. When the Oilers relocated to Tennessee in the mid-1990s, they were also supposed to play two more years in Houston while waiting for their stadium in Nashville to be ready. They ended up playing in Memphis for a year after Houston fans understandably abandoned the team, leaving it to play home games in a mostly empty Astrodome throughout the 1996 season.
The Raiders could in theory play at UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium while they wait for their custom-built stadium to be done in time for the 2020 season.
Where will the Raiders play in Las Vegas?
Ahead of the NFL vote announcement, just got some new stadium renderings from MANICA Architecture. Here's one for your viewing pleasure: pic.twitter.com/PFiHngDqyU
— Jackie Valley (@JackieValley) March 27, 2017
The team is set to move into a $1.9 billion domed stadium that will be built just across Interstate 15 from the Las Vegas Strip, not far from the Mandalay Bay casino. UNLV football also would play its home games there.