After the San Diego Chargers recently announced their move to Los Angeles, the franchise received a mountain of backlash from citizens of the city that supported them for the past 56 seasons. They are the second NFL team to relocate in the last two years and a third one could be joining them very soon.
It was recently announced that the Oakland Raiders would be applying to relocate to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. The move will be voted on by the league’s owners this March and the team would need a vote of approval from at least 24 of them to relocate.
If approved, the Raiders would continue to play their home games in Oakland for two more seasons and then bolt for Vegas in 2020. What an incredibly awkward scenario the team could find themselves in when they approach the people of Oakland to purchase season ticket packages over the next two years (tons of fun).
But why are the Raiders even considering the move in the first place? Oakland is a city where the franchise has spent 44 of its 57 total years of existence and supported them despite the team making the playoffs just once in the past 14 seasons.
The city has proposed numerous offers to build a new stadium in the recent years, but their proposals apparently have just seemed too little too late for the franchise and its owner, Mark Davis. With backing from the state of Nevada and big-time casino mogul in Sheldon Adelson, perhaps Davis just wants to make his own mark on a franchise that his late father worked to create?
Maybe he just wants to step out of his father’s shadow and be known as more than just “Al’s son with a horrible bowl cut.”
If the team does end up moving to Las Vegas, will their fans from Oakland travel to see the team in their new home? That at least seems more likely for Raiders fans than for those in San Diego who no longer have any desire to root for the Chargers.
With an NHL team set to begin playing their home games in Vegas next season and the possible relocation of the Raiders, Sin City is beginning to turn into a formidable home for a professional sports franchise.
If Las Vegas is able to successfully support two sports teams, it could eventually lead to the NBA and MLB considering the city for a franchise a bit more seriously. But then again, having the Raiders in Vegas could end up worse than a gambling junkie spending his last $100 on the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl.