Thursday, March 24, 2016

The NFL and Raiders: Leverage.

Las Vegans are no doubt salivating today at the news the NFL is still interested in locating a team in their city.

NFL Official: Don't write-off Las Vegas as possible home for the Raiders. John Breech,

What happens if Oakland and Los Angeles both fall through?
Viva Las Vegas!
Sin City was a hot topic at the NFL owners meetings this week, and it's starting to look like Vegas is becoming a more attractive option.
"I think it would be a mistake to just write Las Vegas off," a high-ranking league official told the Los Angeles Daily News. "It's all predicated on getting the financing in order, but if they do, considering the Raiders brand and how well it could play in Las Vegas and all the various other dots that can be connected, the Raiders would have a very compelling argument to make."

More here here and here.

Now, before you get all fired up and make plans to either get season tickets or, more likely, try to decipher the NFL's scheduling algorithm to determine when your team is traveling there, please remember that the NFL has a long, long history of setting up cities who are never going to have a serious chance in order the sweeten the deal for the owner currently in negotiations.

Make no mistake about it, NFL Commissioner Goodell would rather sit in the cheap seats and share a beer with the common fan than he would have a team located in the sports-gambling mecca of the United States of America.

Goodell hates sports gambling because the NFL cannot control it.  Unlike DFS, which was an emerging industry and needed the league's participation to grow, sports gambling is already a multi-Billion dollar enterprise. It's ran, and almost totally controlled, by either casinos or off-shore betting houses, who have little reason to partner, and be controlled by, the NFL and their heavy regulatory hand.

It also doesn't help that Goodell, and most of the owners, are still living in the fantasy land of the past where sports gambling is rigged by the mafia and where cars hit transformers mysteriously when the game play is headed against a large interest. In fact, big losses on single games are expected, at times, by the sports books now. Sports gaming has become just like all other gaming. Based on theoretical formulas and based on maths.  In the old days the casinos were nowhere near as savvy at advanced mathematics as they are today.  They still overwhelmingly won, but they were also prone to panic, which is something you never see today.

What the NFL is doing is using Las Vegas for leverage. It's something they've done quite frequently in the past and it's an attempt to get Oakland, or another city, to pony up hundreds of Millions in tax incentives for their playgrounds.

While I think it's a possibility that Las Vegas ends up with an NHL expansion franchise, I don't see any way that the doddering old fools who run the teams ever allow Steve Wynn or Sheldon Alderson into the game of professional football.

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