Fans Storm Raiders’ HQ
Raider Nation rallies in town to stop football team’s move to Las Vegas
Raider fans from all over the globe converged on the team’s headquarters in the Harbor Bay Business Park Saturday, April 30, to hold their annual Raider Nation rally. This year’s rally had more significance because it also allowed rally goers to voice their opinions on the Oakland Raiders potential move to Las Vegas.
The Raider Nation holds the event annually to gather together in their love of all things Oakland Raiders.
“We had this planned since last year and meet here every year around this time to celebrate our love for the Raiders,” said Al Rodriguez, a longtime Raider fan. “We’re not just fans from Oakland or Los Angeles, but you see fans here from all over the United States plus one who flew in from England, which the Raider Nation has also touched.”
Fans began appeaing in front of headquarters at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway right after 8 a.m. Spectators consisted of people from the Bay Area, but also people from Sacramento, Davis, San Juan Bautista, Los Angeles, Salt lake City, Phoenix and even a couple from Maui.
The good vibes that usually accompany the event turned a bit more hostile with fans declaring their disdain for a potential Raider move to Las Vegas.
“While this is our regular meeting, and since we all know each other, we treat this like one big tailgate party all day,” said Tom Jang of Alameda. “It did turn into a rally of sorts when we heard yesterday that Raiders owner Mark Davis is seriously lobbying, throwing out that he might contribute $500 million to help get a stadium built in Las Vegas.”
Mark Davis, the current owner of the Oakland Raiders and the son of the team’s only previous owner Al Davis, met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee on the campus of UNLV on Thursday, April 28. At the meeting, Davis pledged to contribute $500 million to the organization’s effort to build a $1.4 billion domed stadium in Las Vegas. Davis went on record as saying that he wants to bring the Raiders to Las Vegas.
“This is not a bargaining chip,” said Davis. “We need a home. We need a stadium. That’s what Las Vegas is going to provide us, and it’s going to be a great marriage.”
Davis’ sentiments rubbed many Raider fans the wrong way.
“We turned this Raiders Nation annual rally into a Stop The Vegas Move rally because we all feel there’s no Raider fan base in Vegas,” said Kevin Smith. “We all totally love our Raiders. Their home is the Alameda/Oakland Coliseum.”
For the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, first the Nevada Legislature would have to approve diverting some state and hotel room tax funds to the stadium project — an estimated $750 million would come from tourism and Nevada state taxes. Once the stadium is approved, 24 of the 32 NFL owners have to approve the Raiders relocation proposal.
The Raiders have a one-year lease agreement to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for the 2016 season with a two-year option when it ends.