Cory's Corner: Jerry Jones flexes his Las Vegas muscle

Now we’re seeing how strong Jerry Jones is.

In the last year, three teams have been approved to relocate — and none of those are moving into Texas.

We’re starting to see the art of Jones’ persuasion. Remember when there was talk of the Raiders going to San Antonio? That quickly evaporated.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Las Vegas Raiders will work. Las Vegas is a destination city and if it gets marketed right with the surrounding casinos, hotels and restaurants it could be very successful.

But it is interesting that the NFL, which had been historically opposed to Las Vegas because of the fear of gambling, is now jumping into Sin City with a 31-1 vote. The only dissenting team was Miami, probably because it considers Las Vegas another sunny destination city. And how many average NFL fans are going to make more than one trip over a two or three year period to see their team play?

So Jones got his wish. But Las Vegas still needs to support the team. The city cannot lean completely on its visitors to fill up a stadium. The season ticketholders have to come from Las Vegas — which is one of the most transient cities in America. Its filled with people that work in the service industry that likely will be working when games will be played.

Jones may have got the rest of the NFL to buy what he was selling. He didn’t want any more competition in Texas and he picked a place that hadn’t been tapped before.

The only thing that worries me is, the Raiders have been one of the most bounced-around franchises in the league. This is the franchise’s 57th season and they’ve played in Oakland, Los Angeles and finally back to Oakland. How do we know that this eventual move to Las Vegas, the stadium is set to be finished by 2020, will be permanent? Which is surprising to me because, this has been a successful team. It has won three Super Bowls in five appearances and has 16 Hall of Famers, with the latest being Warren Sapp. This isn’t a marginal franchise. It’s a franchise that has tasted success.

Its only problem is that it doesn’t know what its return address has been.

And because of Jones’ swift talking, Las Vegas could potentially be a circle on a calendar for many fans in cold winter cities.

But should Jones be allowed to persuade where a team goes? I guess we will find out in a few years if the local residents of Las Vegas are supporting its new attraction — and I’m not talking the newest Cirque du Soleil. If this fails, does Jones’ star become dented?

Selfishness should not dictate relocation, but life is different in the NFL because other owners are more willing to trust an owner that has proven to make them money. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (48)

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Nick Perry's picture

March 28, 2017 at 06:46 am

I had this exact discussion with one of my supervisors I work with yesterday. He seems to feel many Raiders Fans will make the trip to Vegas several times a year and support the Raiders in Vegas. I think he's right, maybe they do...for about 2 or 3 years until the novelty wears off. In the long term I don't see this working out myself.

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Michael Grunewald's picture

March 28, 2017 at 06:48 am

Jones just needs to keep his yapper shut. When Ralph Wilson died, his jaw was flung open within days suggesting the Bills should move to LA. I don't have an issue with the Raiders in Vegas - assuming they can make it work...but Jones should keep his nose in Dallas where it belongs.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:41 am

Remember that Jones and Kraft have Goodell in their pockets. They exert a lot of influence (read$$$) on what happens in the league. Thanks, Since '61

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Bert's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:58 am

Yeah. The problem isn't that Jerry exerts his influence. Heck. He's just a business man looking out for his best interests. The problem rests with the NFL for being so weak and allowing Jones to get his way. I don't like JJ but I can't blame him for taking advantage of a bunch of weak sisters.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:14 am

They are not weak sisters, they have put Goodell in place to make more $$$ for them rather than look out for the good of the league, the players and the fans. This is a time when Goodell should have done his due diligence on this move and said that it is not good for the long term health of the Raider franchise or the league and will have an adverse impact on our fans and the employees and related businesses in Oakland therefore we are going to contribute to the Oakland proposal to keep the team in Oakland. but god forbid the league spend any of it's own money when they can take money from taxpayers pockets to build their ridiculous, toy spaceship stadiums. Plus who will foot the bill for the soon to be empty Oakland Coliseum? The same taxpayers who supported the team for decades. Their taxpayer funds will now be used to maintain and eventually tear down the stadium in Oakland with no reward except for the employees who will lose their jobs and fans without a team. Yes, there will be new jobs in Las Vegas, but for how long and at what costs to the taxpayers there? What happens if there is little fan support there, which will be the case if the team loses consistently? The Oakland fans were there, win or lose. Another unnecessary, greedy, money grab by Goodell and the owners. Thanks, Since '61

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Michael Grunewald's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:54 pm

Agreed. It seems that there have been too many short-sighted decisions of late. I sure as heck-fire hope the pressure to put a team across the pond ceases. As it stands. the LA market was tried and failed several times.

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Razer's picture

March 28, 2017 at 07:02 am

Looks like there were 31 other mouths as big a Jerry Jones, I also don't recall any San Antonio bids in recent years. Might be more likely that Al Davis came to everyone in a dream to make this move happen.

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mrtundra's picture

March 28, 2017 at 07:46 am

Back when Red McCombs(?) owned the Vikings, just prior to the Wilf's, there was talk that Red wanted to move the vikings to San Antonio, where he was from. I guess he ran into too much resistance. Too bad.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:42 am

Razer it wasn't voices that impacted this move, it was $$$, as always, pure and simple. Thanks, Since '61

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4zone's picture

March 28, 2017 at 07:09 am

Suggestion to ex Raider fans. How bout you give the gift of empty stadiums to your back stabbing ex owner on every prime time game. For that matter, how bout every game, home and away...

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:44 am

4zone - excellent comment. The Oakland coliseum should remain empty for the next 3 seasons. If I were a season ticket holder out there I would cancel it today. Thanks, Since '61

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 28, 2017 at 07:38 am

I think all of these moves are stupid. I haven't seen anyone make the case for why franchises in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles are going to work. The only argument I've seen is that someone is willing to build new stadiums there. And it is almost like putting three teams into the same area, because LV is an easy weekend playground for LA. And we're talking about two cities here (or maybe a city and a town) that have so many other things to do and that residents have moved to enjoy for DECADES without either of them having an NFL team. My cousin played college football, lives in LA and you can't even get him to watch a football game when he comes home for Thanksgiving.

These moves REEK of failure to me.

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4zone's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:06 am

It's all about billionaires sucking money out of the middle and low class to fund their expensive toys. Greed will be the end of the NFL. All the charity work, the youth leagues, punt pass and kick are marketing ploy to draw in more fans and their money.

There is no logical sense to play football in England or Mexico except to make more money. The NFL will destroy their own product by their own geed.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:49 am

Absolutely!!! They do not care about the fans or the players, just the $$$.
No reason to use taxpayer money to build stadiums when so many public programs are being reduced or eliminated. But even once the NFL product has been destroyed the billionaires will still be billionaires and the fans and league employees will be the ones left with nothing, not to mention the publicly funded stadiums which will become decaying eyesores for years. Thanks, Since '61

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dblbogey's picture

March 28, 2017 at 03:16 pm

There is also no logical reason to play Thursday games. The quality of play suffers in those games and it certainly doesn't help player safety playing 2 games in 4 days. It is another example of pure greed. Drop the Thursday games, give teams two bye weeks per season and increase roster size to 55. Much better product would result.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:44 pm

Agree. I hate Thursday games also and I never watch them unless the Packers are playing. Thanks, Since '61

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Bearmeat's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:26 pm

Tax subsidies for billionaires. Frigging great.

This is one of the reasons I love the Packers so much. They can NEVER leave GB. Their ownership structure is far superior to being at the whim of some moron born with a silver spoon up his rear. Or, perhaps even worse, someone who "made their own $$ the hard way", and now thinks their own crap doesn't stink.

The bottom line is that moving franchises from cities that have birthed them and supported them for decades is disgusting. The Rams between LA and STL, the Chargers to LA, The Oilers to Nashville, the Cards to PHX from CHI via STL, the Browns to Baltimore, the Colts to IND, the Raiders to LA, OAK then LVN. And there are MANY more!

All because the owners don't want to pay for their own damn playgrounds that THEY will make money off of! Disgusting!!!

The owners are everything that is wrong with the NFL. The world will be a better place when Jerry Jones finally kicks the bucket, just like it was with Al Davis.

Yep. I said it. And I stand by it.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:17 am

Bearmeat - could not agree with you more. Another NFL travesty. Just to further your point a little bit, the Rams actually started in Cleveland, then to LA to ST. Louis and now back to LA. The Giants and Jets would not see it this way but many of their fans either walked or rode the subway when the Giants were in the Bronx and the Jets were in Queens. When they moved out to the New Jersey meadowlands, those fans, who lived in NYC and supported their respective teams for decades were closed out because the additional costs to get to NJ were prohibitive to many of the working class fans. Of course both teams made up their losses from NJ residents but the loyal NY fans screwed like the fans of the other teams you mentioned. The league could have easily made up the difference between the Oakland and Vegas proposals but that would have meant less money for the league (Goodell) and the owners. This is the problem when the commissioner's job has been changed to do what makes money for the owners versus what is good for the league, the players and the fans. The beat goes on my friend. Thanks, Since '61

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hodge555's picture

March 29, 2017 at 07:59 am

Also the Raiders started in Oakland, moved to LA in 1982 and then back to Oakland in 1995.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 08:37 am

The Raiders ultimately chose Las Vegas because the city put up $750 million to build a new stadium. There are also paying a sizable sum to the NFL. Las Vegas' proposal was much more lucrative than Oakland's proposal to have the Raiders stay. Personally, I don't believe that cities or states should use taxpayer money to build sports facilities. The league and billionaire owners have plenty of money for that, especially when cities and states are cutting pensions, medical care and other publicly funded programs. You would think that the league would want to thank the loyal Raider fans for their years of support and help out Oakland. Once again the league screws their own fans for money. As for the longevity of the Raiders in Las Vegas, initially the Casinos will offer tickets to their high rollers to fill the seats for the first 3-4 seasons. After that it may get a little dicey to keep the stadium filled based on the transient nature of Vegas. I doubt and (I hope that) the Raiders will ever have the support in Vegas that they had in Oakland. Fortunately, as Packers fans we don't need to be concerned with a greedy owner who will just pull the team out of Green Bay someday. While anything can happen, under the Packers charter it would be very difficult for the team to be sold or to move from Green Bay, so hopefully we never need to worry about becoming the Raiders, Rams, Browns, Colts, Cardinals, Jets, Giants, etc. Thanks, Since '61

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4zone's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:18 am

Don't forget Murphy voted for the Raider move too.

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mnklitzke's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:22 am

I just read an article on ESPN today by Kevin Sefiert that only two NFL stadiums has not public funding and it was NY stadium and the one in LV is going to be the other with 100% private funding. Only good thing is the Tax payers in LV don't have to worry about footing the bill. I hate that Billionaires get to use tax money to build stadiums they can afford to build. Look at the chargers, they have to pay 550 million relocation fee. Really 550 mil and you can't figure out a way to redo the current stadium for that? Really? Greed.. and unfortunately we don't help the problem by supporting the NFL through our loveable Packers.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

MN - I hope that you are correct about the funding but I heard on NY sports talk radio that the city of LV is putting up $750 million to fund the new stadium. ESPN may be correct but that would actually be rare for them to be correct about anything. I will research some other sources. Thanks, Since '61

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 03:08 pm

It's partially correct. The taxes are being raised via hotel taxes targeted at the tourism industry. So every time I go to Vegas for work I'm helping pay for the new stadium.

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

MN - see comment below from Chris Chase at FOX Sports.

"Call Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders fleeing to Las Vegas whatever you want. Low. Unfair. Malicious. Greedy. Just don’t call it a gamble. Vegas is about to put $950 million of free money into the Raiders coffers, immediately raising the valuation of the team by hundreds of millions. Gamble? This is a sure thing.
For now.
This fact doesn’t make Davis’ move — turning his back on the city that’s supported his father’s team for decades and even took it back when Al moved the Raiders to Los Angeles in the 1980s after a similar stadium dispute — any less contemptible. And we’ll get to him later. But disavow yourself the notion that professional sports and the business around it is anything less than a cutthroat industry that operates the same way as every other capitalistic enterprise on the planet: Whoever has the most money wins."
Thanks, Since '61

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 03:12 pm

The A's newest lease deal on the Collesium prevented the Raiders from getting the current stadium rebuilt, and I'm guessing the A's are pretty adamant about not having any multi-year renovations done that would impact their season.

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TXCHEESE's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:08 am

I for one don't have any issue with this. I went to a game while out in Oakland a few years back and the stadium was in very poor shape. These cities that have NFL teams get a huge amount of dollars churned in their economy due to these teams. Oakland had several opportunities to come to the plate and never did so in a convincing fashion. I for one will circle the next Oakland home have vs. the Packers once they're in Vegas. Yes the owners are rich, but so are the owners of many of the companies that we work for. They have allowed us to earn a living and advance ourselves and our families' standard of living.

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4zone's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:24 am

We are where they make their money. The Oakland Stadium was trash because the owner was busy spending his profits instead or re-investing it in his own business. He wanted the Oakland citizens to pay for it for him.

That's just BAD BUSINESS.

Packers, use their profits and re-invest in their own business and are extremely successful doing it. And that, in the NFL's smallest market

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Since'61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

Way to go 4zone! Thanks, Since '61

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Not saying I agree with the move, but just to point out, O.co is a multiuse stadium. So the A's would also have to be part of any renovation deals, and their lease prevented O.co from being torn down unless it was to build a new baseball only stadium on the current site, which couldn't be done unless the Raiders relocated. There's more to this particular deal than meets the eyes because of the impact any stadium renovations or public funding would have on the other tenant.

I don't disagree in principle with the relocation, but I do wish Oakland would have stayed in the Bay Area (possibly even sharing the 49'ers stadium). LV just seems like a big unnecessary gamble (no pun intended), and if it fails the costs will be passed on to every other team.

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PackerRick's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:32 pm

This is not exactly the case. A referendum to raise taxes in Brown County to renovate Lambeau narrowly passed a few years back. That sounds like public money to me. I've personally bought Packer stock both times they sold stock to renovate the stadium. That could also be considered public money.

This from an article titled; With $6.7 billion in public money, NFL closes stadium era

<During the same period, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears used $557 million in public money to gut and rebuild their buildings. In 2011, the Kansas City Chiefs received $262 million for a major renovation of 45-year-old Arrowhead Stadium. Those three projects totaled about $820 million in subsidies>

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Since&#039;61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 09:54 am

TX - yes, companies have helped many people earn good livings. That is part of the reason why they exist. Plenty of companies have also eliminated millions of jobs over the years to reduce the costs of labor and make even more profits. Just look at what is left of the textile industry in this country which once employed millions of people and I could name many other industries. But this move is not about improving people's lives, this move is strictly about greed because taxpayer (public) funds are being used to build a stadium for an owner in a league with plenty of money to pay for their own stadium. Not to mention that the Raider's owner could more than well afford to pay for improvements to the existing stadium or to build a new stadium in Oakland. And yes, the stadiums make money for the local economy and that money helps support the citizens in that community. Support like food and shelter for the homeless and battered women and children. Maybe improvements to the local schools or a public funded hospital or safer streets and roads or more police and fire. What happens to that money now? Who supports the people in Oakland who will lose their jobs over this move. Who pays for the food bank or homeless shelter without the additional funds brought in from having the Raiders in town. Maybe a school or hospital is closed or additional police and fire are not hired or let go. How does this advance the standard of living in Oakland? Yes, it may help the people of Las Vegas for a while, but how long? In Vegas, with $750 million going to build some hideous stadium, how will that impact the publicly funded programs there? Will money be used to build the stadium rather than keep a shelter or food bank going. Sure once the stadium is up and running the additional tax revenues may help public funding or maybe not. No this move is about greed not corporate goodwill. And some of us have actually built our own companies and give back to our communities and our veterans while simultaneously building better lives for our families and associates without needing to become greedy billionaires and taking taxpayer money from more important public projects. Thanks, Since '61

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4zone's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

And low and behold, none other than Jerry Jones will hold the concessions contract at the new LV Stadium. Go figure.

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Since&#039;61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

Yes, good 'ol corporate America, taking care of themselves first. How much of that money will find it's way to Goodell's bank account? What a sad joke this once proud league has become. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

March 28, 2017 at 11:44 am

Sad.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:19 am

I guess the thought of players with a lot of disposable income set loose in Las Vegas is too thrilling to pass up. Can't wait to see the late night stories that are sure to come.

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Spock's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

The metro portion of LV is 3 MILLION people so there may be enough to fill the stadium even if only a small percentage are interested in the team. Los Wages...um, I mean Los Vegas is a popular destination. I don't understand it myself, but then I don't gamble at all (my wife and I spent 4 days in Vegas when I was checking out possible Chef jobs there. Bottom line I gambled exactly $0 dollars and cents while there, and thought it was a boring place outside of the shows.) The ever hypocritical NFL is putting a franchise team in the biggest gambling city in the USA! But then the fantasy team stuff is basically gambling in disguise IMHO. I suspect this will work and generate lots of cash for the NFL. Putting highly testosterone athletes in close proximity to hookers and gambling casinos will, I think, be the bigger future issue with this plan. I agree with everyone that funding billionaire owners' stadium builds with public money is just WRONG. However, that is the world we live in: the rich get richer and the rest get screwed. Sigh. Depressing thoughts this morning. On a lighter note: the sun came up this morning. :)

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gr7070's picture

March 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

San Antonio is not a viable option for another sports franchise. It's not a huge metro area. It's also a rather poor metro area (lacks high earners on average) and lacks significant corporate presence.

It will not be a remote option for the extreme foreseeable future. It's that simple.

Smart businessmen will utilize its general size and lack of teams as a threat only. Intelligent folks should see through that threat.

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Steve Cheez's picture

March 28, 2017 at 01:05 pm

As a cheesehead transplant to the (other) Bay area, in recent memory I have seen both the 49ers and the SF Giants build excellent stadia with no public money. If they can do it, why can't other teams? I guess it just comes down to the quality, ability and integrity of the ownership.

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Since&#039;61's picture

March 28, 2017 at 01:26 pm

In this case the integrity of the team ownership, the other owners and the league(commissioner). See articles from my posts above. Thanks, Since '61

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 02:15 pm

Levi Stadium was primarily funded by the Stadium Authority, which is a public not for profit organization formed by the city, and used private lending from major lenders. The Stadium Authority borrowed $850MM of the estimated $1.3 billion total cost. So, yes they didn't use public money in the sense of "no new taxes", but the city borrowed the money through the Stadium Authority to finance the majority of the construction. Should the stadium authority become insolvent I'm guessing any remaining debt would fall back on the city.

Definitely prefer this structure, though. By not using bonds the Stadium Authority gets to charge rent, gets revenue sharing on seat licenses and when the stadium is used for other purposes, and was able to lock the 49'ers in for a 40 year lease. This means the stadium will actually have a direct economic impact (IE: money) vs. the wishy-washy "it brings people here for games and creates jobs" logic.

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Steve Cheez's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:23 pm

My bad, I guess I misunderstood. Must have been dazzled by the "no new taxes" line.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:36 pm

Don't get me wrong - Levi Stadium is the smartest deal I've seen from a city standpoint. If all cities stood firm and took this stance you'd see HUGE changes. But cities are drawn to the glitz and glamour of saying they have a new sports franchise or beautiful new facility and are just as complicit in this as NFL owners. If I'm a business owner, I'm always going to opt for free money and favorable lease terms.

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PackerRick's picture

March 28, 2017 at 03:10 pm

I've been a Packer fan for over 50 years but moved from WI to Las Vegas in 1980. For the doubters, this is going to work in a big way. This city has been starving for a pro sports team, recently got an NHL team, and any NFL team will be successful here. On a big weekend this city draws 300K visitors, many internationally. Plus 2 million local residents live here, many with a lot of extra cash. Season tickets should be very difficult to get with only a 65k seat stadium. And don't worry about that public money because it's all coming from hotel room taxes. This will cost the locals nothing.

Say what you want about Jerry Jones but he's right on this one and the owners obviously understood that. Speculation is that the Miami owner voted against it because he couldn't get any public money for his stadium while Vegas made it easy for the Raiders. Average annual household income in Oakland was 26K while some suburbs in Vegas range from 63-100K+.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:33 pm

One big argument I have against this. There are a ton of corporate entities that use Las Vegas as a site for business events, and an increase in hotel fees, which are already very high, could cause them to look elsewhere for a destination site. Does the tax apply to convention center rentals and associated F&B?

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 28, 2017 at 04:49 pm

Just to clarify on that, an event I go to every year takes over Mandalay Bay, and some of the other MGM properties, for a week. If they're suddenly hit with extra taxes maybe they stop renting out Light and Hard Rock every night. Or they just move to a new city. There are serious ramifications outside of tourism that could have a net negative impact and have not been considered.

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PackerRick's picture

March 28, 2017 at 07:48 pm

Vegas isn't ran by incompetent people. I'm sure they've considered any negative ramifications. Most hotels charge a resort fee ranging as high as $35 a night. If they add another dollar or two for the stadium I doubt there will be much blowback if any. With 125K hotel rooms and over 36 million visitors per year the fees will be small and for most people unnoticeable.

UNLV will also use the stadium and it's expected to lift their floundering football program to respectability and then some. Facilities go a long ways when it comes to recruiting.

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cheesycowboy's picture

March 28, 2017 at 11:01 pm

Las Vegas has an NHL team next year. Now an NFL team. That should say something about revenues and profit. My concern is the legal gambling issue. Maybe I have been under a rock for 4 decades but the LV market has been transient since the 50's.
Oakland should keep the Raiders name and logo. The LV Brat Pack?
I now have even more respect for our Packers and Title town.
How long will it be until the NFL decides to un-grandfather our Packers and they become privately owned?

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