Sad day today in a lot of ways, unless you live in the Nevada desert. The Oakland Raiders, who have one of the most passionate supporter bases in the NFL, have officially lost their team with the Raiders moving to the Vegas strip. Having previously being moved to LA in 1982, they returned to Oakland in 1995, much too the joy of their die-hard rusted-on supporters, the members of Raider Nation.
However, issues with their badly aging stadium, and the owners long standing desires to get a new stadium, saw them start to look elsewhere, despite the owner’s preference to stay in Oakland. Sadly for the members of Raider Nation, they couldn’t get the funding to stay and as such, found a new stadium in Las Vegas Nevada, leading to the move.
It’s a big call for the owners, as moving a team doesn’t guarantee new fans, just ask the LA Chargers who moved to LA from San Diego at the end of 2016 and regularly play in front of poor home crowds with the oppositions fans normally outnumbering the home fans.
Strangely though, the stadium isn’t yet actually finished, and whilst it’s expected to be completed by July 2020, the Raiders do have an option to still play in Oakland for the 2020-2021 season.
For the people of Oakland, who have this season seen the Golden State Warriors move to a new stadium in San Francisco from Oakland, this will be a hard pill to swallow, as whilst knowing it was coming having it now official would surely burn.
One saving grace though, if they choose to stick fat with their team, they could well be watching Tom Brady on their team, with the Raiders on the 3rd line of betting if destinations if he chooses to leave…….at least that’s one positive!