Mayor Carolyn Goodman convinced Las Vegas can get NFL team

Talking to ESPN’s Capital Games podcast on Tuesday, Mayor Carolyn Goodman seemed optimistic about the chances of the Oakland Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.

“I think they from what I understand, if truth is truth, they will come if Nevada can go ahead and do this properly,” Goodman said on the podcast. “I think they would come, but I would also say we would continue to pursue this should they not come. I’m hopeful they will come.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis was Las Vegas on April 28 for a presentation to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee about a proposed $1.4 billion, 65,000-seat stadium.

Davis pledged a $500 million contribution toward the project. The Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Majestic Realty would contribute another $150 million with the remaining money coming from tourist taxes.

Goodman also said on Capital Games that she’s gotten calls from outside of Nevada and California from donors “who might be interested in putting some more private money into the pot.”

Should the proposed stadium be built, Goodman sees it as “boon to the region,” and repeatedly expressed interest on the podcast in bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Las Vegas to share the stadium.

“I think we’re certainly mature enough and ready enough for a major league any sport and have been for some years because we’ve grown to over 2.1 million in resident population and have over 42 million visitors,” she said.

She said the city has been ready and passionate about getting an NFL team since her husband, Oscar Goodman, took over as the city’s mayor in 1999, and referenced a conversation with Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson a couple years ago in which she told him to “get us a team.”

She said she was thrilled that Adelson had “taken the bull by the horns and at least stepped up to the plate to say ‘Come on, let’s do something.’”

Whether or not the Raiders decide to move to Las Vegas, Goodman seemed confident the city would be able to support a team.

“I know we will have a team,” she said. “Now whether it’s going to be on this go around or another go around, I don’t know, but this city has grown into such maturity over these past 15 years.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Betsy Helfand can be reached at Follow on Twitter: @BetsyHelfand

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