From Oakland to Las Vegas

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Every team in the NFL has a fan base, and some of them are more passionate than others. Given if you’re afraid of war painted maniacs, and skull wearing fans don’t read any farther. On the contrary, those familiar of this matter and where it might be heading, should understand. Of course, there is only one NFL team to wield the colors of gray and black, and possibly look so rogue. Meet the Oakland Raiders, or according to their owner, the future Las Vegas Raiders. Yeah, that’s right, one of the most hyper and passionate group of fans in the country is being left behind by the Raiders, and most importantly, owner Mark Davis.

When the Raiders actually move to Las Vegas? That’s not quite as clear as is the actual location itself. There is only one absolute certainty, and that’s that the Raiders will be playing in Oakland in 2017. Mark Davis declined to describe the Raiders as a “lame duck” team and said the team will be playing in the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, often referred to as the Oakland Coliseum next year and 2018 thanks to two one-year leases. The uncertainness doesn’t stop there though, Oakland fans must bear with the fact that their team is moving anywhere from now to 2020. Completely leaving them behind, moving on to whatever gambling fans they will drawn in. How greatly will this affect the Raiders attendance and support? Furthermore, would fans really want to support a team that thinks of the area as the past?

Anyway, California is as crowded as it is in the sports aspect;  more or less in professional football. The San Francisco 49ers, the LA Rams, the LA Chargers, and the Oakland Raiders themselves. It is easy to understand the board of the NFL’s perspective though; the Raiders are the only team today to share a stadium with a baseball team.  The former Raiders owner, Mark Davis’s father (Al Davis), pushed for a move to LA in 1980. This was only an attempt and ended with a court injunction and turned into a long legal battle, after which the Raiders won the super bowl. Even though the move was denied, just think, three teams in LA! Almost as following in his father’s footsteps, Davis has finally been approved for the move, receiving 31 out of 32 votes; from every team except for the Miami Dolphins.

The planned Las Vegas stadium will have 10 levels. The field level, 20 feet below ground will be made of a grass field grown outdoors and rolled in and out of the stadium. Although the design and setting of the new stadium is staggering, many are disappointed, wondering if Davis will drag the franchise down with him. Even the NFL has concerns, what are they going to do about gambling, since Las Vegas is such a huge center of betting and gambling. A team so close would be a liability. One writer from ESPN wrote on the matter, “ There are Dolphins in Miami, Patriots in New England, Cowboys in Dallas, and even Seahawks in Seattle; but you can’t find a Raider in the middle of the desert.” Though this is figuratively written, its meaning goes farther than the distance between Oakland and Las Vegas, or perhaps the distance between the Raiders and their once raving fans.