PHOENIX – An overwhelming majority approved the Raiders’ relocation application Monday morning. They were given permission to move from Oakland to Las Vegas by a 31-1 vote at the league owners meetings, a massive show of support for the Silver and Black.
While the stadium and finance committees recommended Raiders relocation and the final meeting went smooth leading up to a vote, there was one voice of dissent.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn’t let his vote do the talking. He explained his rationale to reporters on Monday afternoon.
“I just don’t think everything was done to try and stay in Oakland,” Ross told reporters, via a video posted on San Diego-based 1090-AM’s website. “I was more or less interested in the thought that Oakland deserved…that a deal could’ve been done there.”
Ross said Raiders owner Mark Davis should’ve engaged with Oakland more in trying to find a long-term stadium solution in the East Bay.
“You can only make a deal when the owner wants to make a deal,” Ross said. “Who are you going to negotiate with? How’s it going to happen? The owner has to be a driving force.”
After some difficult negotiations with Oakland, Davis focused his efforts on Las Vegas, where he received $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, with an additional chunk earmarked for infrastructure improvements around a stadium site just off the Las Vegas Strip.
While Ross spent roughly $500 million in private funds to renovate Hard Rock Stadium, his dissent was rooted in part on ideological grounds. He believes stadiums should be largely financed privately.
“I think so,” Ross said. “You get a look around, and there’s very little public money available for teams today. I think owners have to have, when you own a team, you should have the deep pockets to deliver. Now, you need some public money for infrastructure and things like that but, with the cost of stadiums today, our country can’t afford to put all that money in that kind of place.”
Ross said he didn’t vote no to grandstand.
“That doesn’t do me any good. I didn’t do it for that,” Ross said. “I voted how I voted and I voted what I believed. You talk about the fans, and that’s what the National Football League is all about.”