1974

August 26th, 2016 at 3:18 PM ^

I agree with the OP. It's funny -- I'm in the middle of "Cadillac Desert," so I can't help thinking about the long-term sustainability of all things Vegas.

PopeLando

August 26th, 2016 at 3:24 PM ^

I agree. they would have to make it into a gambling/entertainment establishment just like any other in Vegas. Because they'd be competing with the casinos for people's time, attention,and money.

Could you find 50,000+ people to attend football games every Sunday otherwise? I have my doubts.

Hail-Storm

August 26th, 2016 at 3:46 PM ^

that Las Vegas's surrounding population is nowhere near what Detroit's is. 

Also, Detroit Lions have had an unbelievable amount of fan support for a team that has been one of the worst in the last 50 years. Most other fan bases are not that loyal. This comparison is probably a bad one if you are an Oakland owner. Given the Oakland leadersihp, this is probably what they did.

buddha

August 26th, 2016 at 4:18 PM ^

This is very true. 

The Raiders would draw a very large, loyal number of people from the Bay Area; and, they would own SoCal. Even after leaving SoCal ~30 years ago, the Raiders are far and away the most popular team in the LA region (by a long shot).

If you combine the local population of Vegas with the millions of fans that are a 3.5 hour drive or 45-minute flight from Vegas, I think they could easily sell out a 50K stadium week-in and week-out. (and this doesn't include all the tourists that would simply buy tickets because they are in Vegas, don't wanna see the Michael Jackson show, and are interested in football).

lilpenny1316

August 26th, 2016 at 5:38 PM ^

The NFL wants to hold Super Bowls were they can get to around 70K in attendance.  For the Super Bowl at Ford Field, they had to cram extra seats in there to make it to 68K.  

Due to the NFL getting rid of the sellout rule, they don't need a full house to be on local TV.  Even if they only get 50K, they can just put a curtain or tarp on top of sections they cannot sell.  I think the Jaguars do that now.

NowTameInThe603

August 26th, 2016 at 3:59 PM ^

That's great for comparing cities but what about the rest of state that travels to the games? You can consider tourist part of that number but as a east coaster I'm not sure what kind of interest will be there outside of residents in Las Vegas. Will they have fans from LA who will travel for the games or will they just stick with the Rams. Arizona already has their team too

In any case it's a gamble

Ryno2317

August 26th, 2016 at 5:00 PM ^

Do you know how many people travel to Vegas during football season??  More than enough people and many more than visit Detroit or its metro area.  Vegas is an hour flight from L.A. and 1.5 hours from Oakland.  They need to fill the place eight time a year.  Eight.  Vegas is an obvious choice for the Raiders. 

lilpenny1316

August 26th, 2016 at 5:44 PM ^

A game that ends at 4PM local time in Vegas is 6-7PM on the East Coast.  For fans who fly in for a weekend, that means a rough day of work on Monday or a PTO day.  If you're driving back to Cali, that means the same thing.  I don't see fans doing that once the novelty wears off, especially the West Coast fans.  They may come for a game, but I doubt you'll get thousands of season ticket orders.

There's football in San Francisco (Santa Clara), LA and San Diego (for the time being).  Still plenty of options for NFL fans.

Clarence Boddicker

August 26th, 2016 at 3:24 PM ^

For $750 million in public funding? If I were a Vegas resident I wouldn't be real happy. Of course that would make Mark Davis the world's biggest welfare queen....and belle of the ball.

MileHighWolverine

August 26th, 2016 at 3:27 PM ^

Home town fan base shouldn't matter as the bulk of revenues comes from TV rights/Merchandise/etc....long term sustainability of being in the middle of the desert is more concerning to me. 

Kevin13

August 26th, 2016 at 3:58 PM ^

Vegas is a very large town with a large population. I think they would sell tons of season tickets and they are still close to LA where fans would drive in there for games. Plus as you mentioned I think it could be another attraction that people would want to see when they visit Vegas.

Perkis-Size Me

August 26th, 2016 at 4:06 PM ^

At the end of the day it's all about money. And Vegas would make a shit ton of it with an NFL team.

You may not have a bunch of local fans who are loyal to the team (not initially, anyway), but you'd get a ton of transplant fans who come in for the weekend, spend some money at the tables, and then go to the game on Sunday.

The NFL doesn't care where the money comes from, as long as it's coming in.

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michgoblue

August 26th, 2016 at 4:21 PM ^

I see the discussion upthread about the size of the population.  My perspective:

The population numbers are pretty bad for LV:  From what I can tell, metro Detroit has between 4-6 million people (depending on how you define metro Detroit) whereas metro LV has just over 2 million.  While that sounds bad, it is actually worse since even outside of the metro Detroit area, there are reasonably large towns.  Outside of metro LV, there is pretty much desert. 

But, LV has a much younger populace, and one that might be more inclined to spend a day at a game.  Also, unlike Detroit, LV is a major touries spot, and in particular a hub for events such a bachelor parties.  I could see plenty of tourists taking in a game - certainly enough to fill up the 8 home games that they get.

In short, I think that a team in LV has a strong chance of success, even with the low surrounding population. 

NittanyFan

August 26th, 2016 at 5:55 PM ^

America ... which puts it right smack between the Cincinnati MSA and Kansas City MSA.  The latter 2, of course, have NFL franchises.

That ranking probably overstates the # of people who are theoretical season ticket buyers for the Las Vegas Raiders.  The Bengals draw fans from Dayton, Columbus, Lexington and Louisville, which are completely separate MSAs.  Ditto for the Chiefs and Saint Joseph, Topeka, Omaha, Springfield, and now St Louis.  

Vegas is surrounded by quite a lot of tumbleweeds.  They'll get some LA folk and maybe some Salt Lake City folk.  But that's probably it.  Reno is substantially closer to SF than Vegas. 

Another thing working against Vegas --- it's actually not the richest area.  Per capita income in the Las Vegas MSA is 86% of the national average.

All that said, I do think the NFL would work in Vegas.  As you said, it's only 8 home games per year, and the visiting fans WILL travel quite a bit to see their own team.

The NHL in Vegas?  That idea I think is going to be a complete disaster.

mvp

August 26th, 2016 at 4:25 PM ^

Moreso than just about any stadium in the country, though, you can see that stadium being used for more than just the NFL games.  The TV contract supports all the teams through revenue sharing, too.  It might actually make sense.

The argument aginst it I've most often heard is about the influence of sports gambing and how it would interact with and affect the team.