The Las Vegas Raiders Tax

Despite pleas from Oakland fans, Mark Davis wants to relocate his business to Las Vegas.




Raiders ownership led by Mark Davis is moving ahead in trying to move the NFL franchise to Las Vegas and Nevada officials are helping the Raiders owners. The state started to collect money for a stadium project on March 1 by hiking local hotel and motel room tax. Nevada elected officials are fine with collecting the tourist tax despite the fact there is no signed agreement committing Davis to move the franchise to Las Vegas. Davis remains hopeful that he will be able to get his new home office by 2020 but he needs to aplace to operate the business for at least two years and that could be in Oakland.

That may be a tough sell as a lame duck. All Davis needs to do is talk to people connected with the Houston Oilers franchise in 1996 to find out how difficult it might be to stay in Oakland while the Las Vegas stadium is being built.

The NFL knows firsthand that selling a lame duck team is not a formula for success. Bud Adams had a disastrous 1996 season from the business standpoint after he announced that he was moving his Oilers NFL franchise from Houston to Nashville in 1995. Adams plan was to stay in Houston in 1996 and 1997. Adams ended up playing in Memphis, Tennessee in 1997 because it was decided it was not worth keeping the team around in Houston in 1997.


Adams got about 20,000 customers per game in 1996. Why would well-heeled customers and even Davis’s Raiders have well-heeled clients despite the Raiders crowd reputation and the whole Black Hole marketing campaign spend money on a group that is leaving? Local businesses always like to be associated with sports teams even if the partnership doesn’t bring results, people who partner with sports teams like to rub elbows with jocks. It won’t be easy selling the Las Vegas Raiders to Oakland customers.