The NFL owners on Monday voted 31-1 to approve the Oakland Raiders leaving California for a new home in Las Vegas. The move will likely not happen until 2020, as a new stadium is built; the Raiders are expected to play the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Oakland with the 2019 season location still to be determined. The lone dissenting vote for the move came from the Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross.
After the vote, Ross released a statement that explained his decision to vote against the move, saying, “My position today was that we as owners and as a League owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted. I want to wish Mark Davis and the Raiders the best in Las Vegas.”
Ross recently attempted to work out a deal for a public-private split on funding for a new or renovated stadium in Miami, but, when those plans fell apart, funded a $500+ million renovation to Hard Rock Stadium privately. Ross never threatened to move the Dolphins out of Miami and worked hard to make sure the team would remain in South Florida for the next 30+ years.
Ross may be the lone dissenter in a vote that clearly was destined for approval, but it does point out the ties Ross has to the communities for each of the NFL teams, and his desire to make Miami and the Dolphins a partner rather than a city hosting a team.
For more on the Raiders’ move, check out Silver and Black Pride.