He shared his thoughts Wednesday night on SiriuxXM‘s Hall of Fame Radio.
“I didn’t think that would happen,” said Madden, whose 10-year coaching run in Oakland included a Super Bowl XI title. “When it got a vote of 31-1, I was really shocked and surprised. Not only did it happen, but how quickly it happened, and I’m not sure they have that whole deal together yet.
“For some reason they jumped into that quickly.”
The Raiders plan to play in a new 65,000-seat domed stadium in 2020.
Madden, now 81, recalls having many of the same feelings when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles after the 1981 season. They spent 12 years there before moving back to the Bay Area.
“It really gets you because of the finality of it,” he said. “When they moved before, that was right after I got out and went into broadcasting and I wasn’t that much part of it, but we had a stadium in Oakland that was relevant. And so, OK, Oakland may lose the Raiders, but we’ll get another team because that’s the way it was working back then.”
Madden isn’t alone in worrying about the trouble that awaits NFL players visiting Las Vegas or calling it home.
“I would hate to be a coach to take a team in there,” he said. “I would hate to have my team be in Las Vegas on Saturday night before the game. If this thing goes through, I think there will be a lot of problems.”
If and when the Raiders move, Madden hopes that at least a piece of the team is left behind.
“If you still live here (in Oakland),” Madden said, “to drive by that area, which by the way I thought it was the best location of a stadium in the NFL. You have to drive by there and you see something there like a shopping mall and a high-rise apartment, it’s going to make you sick, I think.
“We don’t have anything. We don’t have a Hall of Fame, we don’t have a museum, there’s nothing to leave there. Maybe it’s just me being oversensitive but doggone it, if you’re really going to go, that’s really tough but leave us something. Leave us something here in Oakland please.”
Madden worries “there will be no more history of the Oakland Raiders.”
“That really bothers me,” he said. “Not just me personally but all the Raider fans all over those years; all the players … great players, great games, and boom it just goes away.”