Its sad but true – the Raiders football franchise may be moving from their original home in Oakland, California, to Sin City. Mark Davis, owner of the Raiders, is sold on moving the team from Oakland to Las Vegas in the next few years, and the decision could be made in early 2017.
Since the Raiders’ rumored departure from Oakland, Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands, has been amidst the chatter. Adelson was a leading figure in a $750 million room tax which would help fund the $1.9 million arena.
Recently, however, Adelson has turned a cold shoulder to the deal. Reports show that Las Vegas might actually be a worse city for football than Oakland. Davis found that his studies show otherwise.
Despite Vegas being a tourist hotspot, it has a growing population and a football enthusiast core. According to NBC,
“As to the difficulties that Davis and Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson have experienced in reaching an agreement, one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it simply, and bluntly: Davis will find someone else (or multiple someones) to stand in Adelson’s shoes, if Adelson doesn’t want to do a deal.
However it all works out, it’s looking like Davis will be out of Oakland. But while the Chargers are expected to make their move to Los Angeles immediately, the Raiders could spend up to two more years in Oakland as their new stadium is built in Las Vegas.”
As an adopted Raiders fan, I’m a little upset about the potential move away from the team’s home city. Even if the team itself will remain the same, part of the greatness of the Raiders is their crappy stadium, their loud (and scary) fans, and the history of the team, being part of Super Bowl II.
A move away from Oakland might mean better business for Mark Davis, but it may also mean a huge loss – the organic fanbase that has stood behind their team, win or lose, for decades. What is worth more to Davis: Money or history?