The Oakland Raiders have received conditional approval to relocate to Las Vegas beginning with the 2019 season, the team announced on Monday.
The Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas is not expected to be completed until 2020. Therefore, the Raiders will play at the Coliseum in Oakland in 2017 and 2018 and will then move to a temporary location in 2019.
“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,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “I would like to thank Commissioner 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.
“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.”
The Oakland Raiders are the third NFL franchise to relocate in the past two years. The St. Louis Rams moved back to Los Angeles last season, and the San Diego Chargers announced earlier this year that they are moving to Los Angeles in 2017.