Oakland, CA – The fate of the Oakland Raiders has finally come. The NFL Owners voted in favor of the Raiders move to Las Vegas. For the second time, the fans will mourn another departure.
What seemed ludicrous from the start came to fruition yesterday, Owners voted 31-1 in favor of the relocation. The Miami Dolphins were the only franchise that voted against the move and the city of Oakland thanks them whole heartedly.
But that doesn’t stop the bleeding. For the next two years, it will be an emotional rollercoaster for Raiders fans who didn’t care about a new stadium, new uniforms or a remodel. They only thing they cared about was the game of football and winning.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff.
We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area,” said Owner Mark Davis.
Winning a Championship might be the only cure to the broken hearts in the Bay Area. People don’t understand a NEW stadium. They only know what they see in front of them, a team with a winning record. That last two years have been promising for the franchise and the fans had no reason to think otherwise until now.
“I will not renew my season tickets this year,” said Katrina Smith a two year season ticket holder and native of Oakland. I can’t give him [Mark Davis] my money while he has no loyalty to Oakland.”
Many fans share this same sentiment, why support a team that doesn’t want to stay in a city that watched Owner Al Davis move the team to Los Angeles in 1982 only to return back to Oakland in 1995. It’s obvious the move is about money and not fanbase.
Davis was hell-bent on a new stadium with all the bells and whistles that it didn’t matter where it the team ended up. So how do you fill up a new stadium where the average salary isn’t more than $50,000 a year. A quick trip to a little town known as “Sin City” where you gamble, drink, see live shows and strippers. Vegas is a place that entices you to do wrong at every cost. But a football team will flourish here.
Back in 1995 players were grateful the team returned back to Oakland. They complained about countless distractions in Los Angeles leaving no focus on football. It took two years before the team settled under new head coach Jon Gruden who turned the franchise back into a winning organization. Hard to say what will happen in the future but that’s Davis’ problem now.
The city of Oakland made a last minute attempt to propose a deal that was almost laughed at by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Too little to late to go up against that state of Nevada that approved $750 million in public money for a new stadium along with another $650 million from Bank of America. Oakland had no chance in keeping the Raiders in Oakland.
“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness.”