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Raiders’ Move Upsets Fanbase

Illustration by Grace O’Keefe

After a long process of failing to either renovate or replace the Oakland Coliseum, the Oakland Raiders have decided to take their team to the booming city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum being regarded as one of the worst  National Football League (NFL) stadiums, the home of the Raiders has become infamous among fans and NFL viewers for its notorious “Black Hole”. It is only here where you can find such dedicated fans, decked out in silver and black post apocalyptic outfits.

Despite having such a big fanbase and such a well known home, the Raiders organization has had conflicts with the Coliseum on multiple occasions throughout their NFL existence. In fact, this isn’t the first time the silver and black have left Oakland. Prior to the 1980 season, Allen Davis, the owner and general manager or the Raiders had tried to make improvements to the Coliseum, only to be denied. After two years of trying to move to Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum, the agreement was made, and the Raiders played in Los Angeles until 1995, when they moved back to the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders have been in conflict with Oakland for over 10 years over their outdated and run-down stadium, and have agreed to move to Las Vegas for as early as the 2019 season.

When searching for a new location that would draw in fans and money alike, Las Vegas was the obvious choice. Las Vegas is already known around the world, and is one of the top entertainment locations in the United States. This is a city that has all of the resources and space to take on an NFL team, with financial power and population to match. After acquiring both the Las Vegas Golden Knights NHL team as well as the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team, the Raiders will become the third professional team to represent Sin City.

Come 2019, the Raiders will become the third team to relocate in the 2010s, trailing the Rams’ move to Los Angeles in 2016, and the Chargers’ move to San Diego in 2017. Following the Rams relocation to Los Angeles, their already lackluster performance in 2015, finishing with a 7-9 record, would stoop to an even lower 4-12 in their inaugural season in their new location. Although their start was even more disappointing than previous seasons, the 2017 season would shape up to be an impressive performance, finishing with an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance. If the Rams performances are anything to go off of, the Raiders 2019 season may not be as smooth as expected.

The Raiders seem to let  down their fans time and time again, and even with the countless opportunities for fans to leave their team, most have stuck with the Raiders through thick and thin. Although this has been the case throughout the past, many fans are fed up with all of the Raiders’ problems. The move to Las Vegas will no doubt bring fans and money to the Raiders organization. However, the Raiders are neglecting their dedicated fans from the countless seasons prior. The stadium may be brand new, but the passionate fans and hectic environment cannot be recreated.