The Pioneer

Raiders set to invade Sin City a year early

A+photograph+of+the+Oakland+Coliseum%2C+where+the+Raiders+have+played+a+cumulative+total+of+42+seasons.
A photograph of the Oakland Coliseum, where the Raiders have played a cumulative total of 42 seasons.

A photograph of the Oakland Coliseum, where the Raiders have played a cumulative total of 42 seasons.

PHOTO BY BROKENSPHERE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY BROKENSPHERE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A photograph of the Oakland Coliseum, where the Raiders have played a cumulative total of 42 seasons.

By Edward Soper, CONTRIBUTOR

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It is officially the end of an era; The Raiders, for the second time, are leaving Oakland, but this time they will not be headed back to Los Angeles, which is now home to the Rams and the Chargers.

The Raiders will be the first NFL franchise to move to Las Vegas. This was due to the team and the city of Oakland’s failure to reach an agreement upon a new stadium.

The people of Las Vegas have shown themselves to be a passionate sports city even though the city has not had a long history of professional sports teams apart from the recent establishment of the Vegas Golden Knights, NHL team.

So far, with the addition of the new NHL team; Vegas Golden Knights and the newly established WNBA team; the Los Angeles Sparks, Sin City has been quite successful with its sports teams. The Golden Knights represented the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season.

The city is deserving of this opportunity after the massive support they have shown for the Golden Knights. However, only time will tell if that same support will be given to their new NFL team.

“It’s just hard to support a team that has made a pattern of relocating,”

—Rico Guzman, Raiders’ fan

McCarran International Airport posted on Facebook in support of the Raiders “Welcome to Las Vegas, Raiders. We look forward to seeing your organization and its fans here at McCarran International Airport. #Raiders #NFL.”

However, Raiders fans are now in danger of losing their team a year early. Recently, the city of Oakland has shown its discontent by planning to sue the Raiders in a lawsuit worth roughly $500 million in damages caused by the team leaving, according to Sports Illustrated.

“If the Raiders do decide to leave after this season because of the lawsuit, they would still need to find a home for the 2019 season because their stadium in Las Vegas is expected to be ready for the 2020 season at the earliest,” Sports Illustrated reported.

The same article reports that the lawsuit could cause the Raiders to leave after the 2018- 2019 season instead of the proposed  2019-2020 season as planned.

Multiple attempts to reach out to the Raiders organization for comments on the early move were made, with no response.

Some Raiders fans are not thrilled about the move, to say the least. In fact, Raider fans like hh of Castro Valley, are unsure if they will continue to be fans once the team leaves for the desert.

“It’s just hard to support a team that has made a pattern of relocating,” Guzman said. “The move back to Oakland [from Los Angeles] should have been enough. The city deserves better.”

On the other hand, there are some fans that do support the move to Vegas.

“I mean it’s going to suck for the fans,” Oakland resident and Raiders fan James Hawkins said. “But from the team’s standpoint it makes a lot of sense. The city wouldn’t build them a new stadium and Vegas would. I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s leave too.”

So far, the Raiders have had a disappointing season as they sit in last place of the American Football Conference (AFC) West with a record of 1-5. Vegas football fans should hope this record changes fast.

If the city spends $1.8 billion on a new stadium for a team that is not competitive, it could really hurt the city’s sports scene.

On the other hand, there are some fans that do support the move to Vegas.

“I mean it’s going to suck for the fans,” Oakland resident and Raiders fan James Hawkins said. “But from the team’s standpoint it makes a lot of sense. The city wouldn’t build them a new stadium and Vegas would. I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s leave too.”

So far, the Raiders have had a disappointing season as they sit in last place of the American Football Conference (AFC) West with a record of 1-5. Vegas football fans should hope this record changes fast.

If the city spends $1.8 billion on a new stadium for a team that is not competitive, it could really hurt the city’s sports scene.

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Raiders set to invade Sin City a year early