It has been announced today that the Oakland Raiders will be moving their franchise to Las Vegas a move we highlighted back in January. The NFL owners voted 31-1 to ratify the Raiders’ proposed relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas.
The Raiders are to remain in Oakland while a $1.9 billion stadium for the Raiders is under construction. Then the Raiders are headed to their new home situated just south of the famed Vegas Strip.
In a week where the owners will be discussing the rule changes for the new season, there’s one they will be forced to change as a result of this decision.
To guard against even the sniff of a scandal, the league has for decades prohibited its officials from visiting Las Vegas at any point during the season. They are allowed to visit in the offseason, provided they inform the NFL office but even then, they are barred from the sports betting areas.
Raiders owner Mark Davis will take advantage of $750 million in public funding (plus another $200 million for maintenance over 30 years) towards the $1.9 billion stadium project in downtown Las Vegas.
In a statement today, Raiders Owner Mark Davis said.
“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.”
Other Rule Changes To Follow
The owners met Tuesday to discuss the following rule changes for the 2017 season. The team proposing the change is in brackets (CC=Competition Committee). I’ve previously highlighted the options I believe are most likely to be confirmed by the owners. I have now updated each proposal with today’s vote. For example (PHI – Withdrawn), (CC-Approved) etc.
- Protect the long snapper from contact for 1 second (PHI-WITHDRAWN)
- Abolish line leaping on field goal and extra-point kicks (PHI-APPROVED)
- Expand the crown hit rule to be a foul even if player turns head to the side (PHI-WITHDRAWN)
- Expand coach’s challenge to any call except “hands” fouls (holding, pass interference, illegal contact) and unsportsmanlike conduct; and a 3rd challenge if at least one challenge is successful (PHI–WITHDRAWN)
- Allow a 3rd challenge if at least one challenge is successful, and unlimited thereafter as long as each challenge is successful (WAS-FAILED)
- All touchbacks to the 25-yard line, except kickoffs through the uprights would be a touchback to the 20 (WAS-FAILED)
- Coach may challenge any call at any time in the game, except after a turnover or score. (BUF-SEA joint- FAILED)
- Make permanent the automatic disqualification rule on the 2nd of certain unsportsmanlike penalties that was in effect in 2016 (CC-APPROVED)
- Extend to 2017 only the rule that kickoffs would touchback to the 25, which was in effect for 2016 only (CC-APPROVED)
- Reduce regular-season overtime to 10 minutes (CC-TABLED until May meeting)
- Extend defenceless player protections to a receiver running a route, but not if he’s in a blocking posture (CC-APPROVED)
- Extend the illegal crackback to an offensive player who was in motion (CC-APPROVED)
- Make replay centralised in the league headquarters and have the referee participate via tablet (CC-APPROVED)
- Multiple deliberate fouls to manipulate the clock are unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yards and reset clock to time of snap (CC-APPROVED)
- Expand 10-second runoff situations to apply after the 2-minute warning, not to under 1 minute (CC-APPROVED)
- Point of emphasis that “egregious” hits to head are an automatic disqualification (CC-APPROVED)