The two things that have always clashed in a capitalist society are money and emotions. Today, I write to inform you that despite all of the Hollywood productions that might make one think otherwise, money usually wins.
As of March 24, league owners voted 31-1 in favor of the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas. In a press conference regarding the move, Mark Davis quoted his father by saying, “The greatness of the Raiders is in its future,” which is a statement that has long given hope to Oakland natives, but now sounds a bit unsettling. Oakland City Council President Larry Reid verbalized his emotions on the move by saying, “You will never ever see me wearing anything that says ‘The Raiders,’” which is a statement that represents a lot of the anger and harsh feelings floating around the Oakland area.
For years, the franchise has attempted to milk funding out of the city of Oakland to rebuild their crumbling stadium, and now this game of cat and mouse has been put to a screeching halt, leaving true Raider fans, like myself, feeling betrayed and disgruntled.
The city of Las Vegas has offered $950 million in stadium construction and maintenance costs to the franchise, and the building of the new stadium is said to be completed by 2020. In the meantime, the Raiders hope to make use of their two one-year options to play at the Coliseum, despite warnings from Oakland City Council President Larry Reid that he may push to force the Raiders out early. Even if the Raiders are allowed to play out these one-year options, the 2019 season remains a question mark, as construction will have yet to conclude.
The move was almost altogether halted after Goldman Sachs pulled out of the deal, the $650 million chunk of the $1.9 billion stadium deal had to be filled in somehow by March 24 or the proposal was unlikely to pass. Bank of America stepped in once Goldman Sachs and Sands Casino owner Sheldon Adelson bowed out.
Support for the team to stay strays beyond the borders of Alameda County, as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was the lone league owner to vote against the move. “We as owners and as a league owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted,” said Ross.
However, despite their move to Los Angeles in 1982, fan support from the East Bay Area stayed constant, showing that these fans are willing to sustain loyalty even through a relocation. Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon said of the East Bay fans: “Raider fans are passionate, tough, determined and fiercely loyal… and will travel!”. Sure, Rich, we might be loyal fans, but will this loyalty stretch into Nevada? Furthermore, this being the team’s second relocation pours salt on the wound. Fool us once, shame on us, fool us twice, you know the drill. We will not call you, we will not text you and we will certainly not be sending nudes anytime soon. Raiders: it’s over.
Photo Credit: Flickr