The NFL appears closer than ever to an unprecedented move to Las Vegas.
The owners of the Oakland Raiders are keen to move the team to Nevada with the 32 team owners set to vote on the proposal at the league’s annual meeting this week.
Momentum is building behind the move, which would see the Raiders leave Oakland in 2019, with commissioner Roger Goodell appearing to pour cold water on a last-ditch attempt by the city to keep hold of their team.
Oakland submitted a reworked plan to finance a new $1.3billion stadium in the city on Friday.
But replying in a letter to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, Goodell confirmed that the proposal still did not represent a “viable solution” for the league.
“Despite all of these efforts, ours and yours, we have not yet identified a viable solution,” he wrote. “It is disappointing to me and our clubs to have come to that conclusion.”
Goodell also suggested that the ongoing relationship with the Oakland A’s, with whom the Raiders currently share the Coliseum, and the role of hedge fund Fortess Management Group within the proposal remained issues as well as a number of other outstanding problems.
“We have been prepared for nearly two years to work on finding a solution based on access to land at a certain cost, without constraints on the location of the stadium or timing of construction, and clarity on the overall development,” he wrote.
“However, at this date, there remains no certainty regarding how the site will be fully developed, or the specific and contractually-defined nature of the participation by Fortress or other parties.
“In addition, the long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication and the resolution of that issue remains unknown.”
Despite the fact the Raiders have left Oakland before - for Los Angeles in 1982 before returning in 1995 - the proposed move remains deeply unpopular within a fanbase widely regarded as the most passionate in the league.