GRAPEVINE, Texas - A longtime proponent of bringing a team back to Los Angeles, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones would not be opposed to seeing Las Vegas discussed as the NFL's next destination.
Speaking at a sponsors' golf tournament at Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas, Jones would not discuss which club he would like to see test the market, but he called Las Vegas, "one of the real crown jewels of communities in the United States."
"It has a flair for entertainment, and it has two million people, and they're avid sports fans, the full-time residents," Jones said. "They have a huge visiting contingent that more often than not are fans of some NFL football teams. You add all that together, and it's certainly in a conversation about the future relative to the NFL. As you well know, you have to have the right situation. You have to have the right ownership, want to and then a lot of other considerations that have to come into play. For me, I think that certainly the fact that Las Vegas has a gambling aspect to it is far overshadowed by the entertainment value, if you will, family appeal, that you have, the convention appeal. So it does not have disfavor with me, in my opinion, relative to being an NFL city."
Last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on ESPN's Mike & Mike that he would not dismiss the Oakland Raiders' interest in relocating to Las Vegas. "I think all of us have evolved a little bit on the gambling," Goodell said, but he added he will be "absolutely opposed" to a move if "people feel that it is going to have an influence on the outcome of the game."
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told ESPN's Andy Katz she is confident the Raiders "will come if Nevada handles this properly." On April 28, Oakland owner Mark Davis pledged $500 million toward the construction of a $1.4 billion domed stadium that would seat 65,000. The Sands and partnering business Majestic Realty have pledged an additional $150 million, leaving $750 million for taxpayers to see the stadium project through at its early stage.
Backers said on April 28 they would ask for a special session of the Nevada Legislature in August to approve diverting some room-tax funds for the stadium. The legislature is not scheduled to meet again until 2017. After that, the NFL owners would have to approve a Raiders relocation with affirmative votes by at least 24 of 32 owners.
Jones was a key voice among ownership in pushing through the Rams' move from St. Louis to Los Angeles.