Oakland to Los Angeles back to Oakland … and now Las Vegas.
NFL owners voted 31-1 Monday to allow the Oakland Raiders to move to a new stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders plan to play in Oakland for the next two seasons, owner Mark Davis said.
The move was expected and picked up steam over the weekend before Monday’s vote in Arizona. ESPN reported the Miami Dolphins were the only dissenting vote.
Prior to the vote, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said it was a wait-and-see approach for players and coaches.
“More so, I think about it for my family and things like that, finding a church and moving and all those things,” he said. “As a player, I really don’t think about it. I’m going to show up and do my job wherever I’m at. Obviously we all wanted it be in Oakland and I think everyone does. Even our owner has said we wanted to be in Oakland. As far as the fans right now, we’re playing in Oakland, and I'm excited about that.”
Following the vote, Carr tweeted his affection for Oakland fans even as he looks forward to starting in Las Vegas:
Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn echoed his star quarterback’s thoughts.
“At the end of the day (a) decision is going to be made and I’m going to go where we go,” he said. “The good thing is I have good faith in my owner, Mr. (Mark) Davis. I know he’s going to make the decision for our franchise.”
The Raiders began in Oakland in 1960 and lasted there through 1981. Team owner Al Davis, Mark’s father, then moved them to Los Angeles, where the Raiders played from 1982 to 1994. The team returned to Oakland in 1995. In total, the Raiders have spent 45 of 58 seasons in Oakland.
For Raiders fans in Fresno, most don’t blame the younger Davis for moving the team now.
“I’m a die-hard, I got to go with them,” Fresno resident Larry Kemp said. “Raider Nation always. I can’t change since they changed cities. It might be good because you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Raiders all the way in Vegas or Oakland. (Davis) is still going to have his fan base behind him.”
Terry Rodriguez of Fresno said he probably won’t go to games in Las Vegas, but will continue to support the team.
“I’m going to stay a fan,” he said. “I don’t see myself wearing any other colors but silver and black. I’ve been to city council meetings in Oakland and Alameda to keep them in Oakland, but at the end of the day it’s a business move. I don’t blame Mark Davis for moving the team to Las Vegas, but he’s not thinking about his fans that much.”
Juan Botello of Fresno said the Raiders going to Las Vegas is “like adopting a new child and it just wouldn’t be the same.”
“I’m a longtime Raiders fan and I’ll support them no matter what,” he said. “I’ll go to Las Vegas. Raiders fans will follow no matter what.”