The greatness of the Raiders is part of why they are moving

The Oakland Raiders are like no other franchise in sports. From the ownership right down to the fans, the Raiders are truly unique. And unfortunately for Oakland fans, some of what makes this franchise so special, so unique, are also some of the reasons they are now going to be moving to Las Vegas.


One of my favorite things about being a Raiders fan has always been the ownership. Sure, it has provided some rather frustrating experiences like Al Davis’ attempts to do anything to win before passing away that actually made the team worse. But when it comes to my pride as a fan, some of that is tied to the ownership.

The Raiders are the only NFL team who is owned by a family that made their money and bought the team through football only. Al Davis started as the head coach of the Oakland Invaders and eventually climbed his way up to ownership. Davis has always been a maverick who did things his own way and that has always appealed to me.

But because they are a family that rose to power through football, the Davis family isn’t nearly as wealthy or powerful as their counterparts in NFL ownership. And that lack of financial power is why Mark Davis was forced to look for someone who would help him build a stadium. First, he looked to the San Diego Chargers then he looked to the City of Las Vegas. If he was like other owners he could probably do like Jed York or Stan Kroenke and build a stadium on his own. But instead, he did what he had to do in order to get one built for him.


Time and time again through the process of preparing to move to Las Vegas, commentators both locally and nationally have noted that if any team will find success in Vegas, it’s the Raiders. Why? Because the term Raider Nation is not a misnomer. And if it is, it’s because it is probably better suited to be Raider World. The fact of the matter is, while there are very large concentrations of Raiders fans in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, there are fans who reside all over America and even in other countries.

There is a legitimate concern about moving a team into a city with such a transient nature. Most people who are in Vegas are not from Vegas and when you bring people from other locations, there’s a decent chance those people bring their pre-existing fandom with them. But that concern is alleviated when you’re talking about the Raiders.

Raiders games, whether in Oakland or Los Angeles, have always been filled with fans who travel to them. The fact that the Raiders fan base is so dedicated and so wide spread made owners feel like there was a much higher likelihood that Raiders fans will travel to Vegas for games. Plus, if you are going to start following a new team that has moved to your area, what better one to follow than the Raiders with the imagery and colors that have always been universally loved.

 So as tough as it may be for many Oakland fans to swallow, it was the greatness of the Raiders and in part the greatness of their fan base, Oakland included, that made it so easy for the owners to approve a move to Vegas.

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