The beginning of the end of an era for the Raiders

Cole Jackson, Staff member

For the Raiders, this is the beginning of the end of an era. Again.

After countless failures to get a new stadium built in Oakland, the NFL owners granted the Raiders’ request to move to Las Vegas. The move seems long term, however the Raiders have done this dance before. They moved to Los Angeles in 1982 but went back to Oakland in June of 1995.

With the 2017 season about to start, Raiders fans are conflicted. There are a lot of mixed emotions, but the constant is shame in the team for wanting to move again. Who could blame the Raiders? All they wanted was a new stadium, and Las Vegas stepped up when Oakland didn’t. It’s not the Raiders’ fault Oakland didn’t give them a new stadium, so we shouldn’t point blame at them.

It took the Raiders’ return in ’95 for Oakland to spend $220 million on the updates that then-owner Al Davis was requesting in the ’80’s. Since then, there have been multiple stadium deals that fell through. In 2012, the Raiders were in discussion with the San Francisco 49ers to share Levi’s Stadium; it would have been the third time the two franchises shared a stadium. The 49ers broke ground without them. Later that year, Oakland’s then-mayor Jean Quan’s Coliseum City project fell through when no team officials of the Raiders, MLB’s Oakland Athletics, and NBA’s Golden State Warriors attended the big announcement.

Then in 2015, the Raiders and San Diego Chargers announced the blueprint for a $1.78 billion stadium in Carson, CA which fell through when the NFL denied the Raiders to move. San Antonio, TX, Concord and San Diego, CA all came up as other relocation options, but they all were shunned out by the Las Vegas approval.

Oakland is on the verge of losing two recently-improved teams (the Raiders and the Warriors) that have brought a lot of revenue back to the East Bay city. In a few years, Oakland will only have the Athletics, who are in a rebuilding phase again (and who knows how long until the team returns to 2012-14 status?). I wonder how long it’ll be before Oakland watches the Raiders and Warriors continue to be great and say, “wow, look at what we gave up on.”

We shouldn’t blame the Raiders and Warriors for leaving. Instead, we should embrace the time we have with them now and enjoy watching the Super Bowl-caliber Oakland Raiders and the NBA Finals-caliber Golden State Warriors.