When the Raiders court potential free agents after moving to Las Vegas next year, a key recruiting tool will sit just across the street from the team’s Henderson headquarters.
Henderson Executive Airport is a Derek Carr Hail Mary pass away from the new team office, where prospective free agents could land in a private jet and be at the Raiders team hub in minutes, according to Don Webb, Las Vegas Stadium Co. chief operating officer.
“In the day in virtually unrestricted free agency, where a player is making $10 million to $20 million annually, he flies in (to Henderson airport) in his agent’s Gulfstream airplane and walks across the street to a really cutting-edge facility with all the physiotherapy, great coaching staff and a wonderful building,” Webb said.
The Raiders could also use the airport for business flights and other corporate operations, but as of Thursday, the Raiders have yet to file plans for a hangar at Henderson Executive Airport, according to Chris Jones, airport spokesman. Golden Knights owner Bill Foley has plans to build a hangar to be used for his various companies, including the NHL franchise.
The airport is not able to handle a team charter flight, as the size aircraft it takes to fly an NFL team is too large for the facility to handle.
Other factors also have team officials excited about their 2020 move.
Noting the difference between real estate prices and taxes between Oakland and Las Vegas, Webb said a player could get more out of living in the Silver State than most other NFL cities.
“A community he (free agent) knows he can afford premium housing and have a great lifestyle with his family… I can build or buy a fantastic home for what the closing costs in the Bay Area would be,” he said. “Oh and by the way, there’s no 13 percent state income tax. This facility, I think, becomes a recruiting ground.”
Nevada does not have a state income tax, making it an attractive destination for professional sports athletes, similar to Florida and Texas.
The Raiders breakout star rookie running back Josh Jacobs mentioned the lack of a state income tax in Nevada moments after he was drafted 24th overall in April, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “It’s definitely dope (to be moving to Las Vegas in 2020) and it’s tax free.”
Webb said he’s not the most knowledgeable about the game of football, but he said he does know business. The area a player can raise a family in, whether there is a state income tax and quality of facilities matter in that decision.
“Their (Raiders) passion is providing all resources for me (potential free agent) to win and for the team to win,” he said. “‘Just Win Baby,’ is not just a slogan, it’s that mantra of the Raiders. The score happens on game day, but winning happens months in advance.
“This (training center) becomes almost the football factory.”