With the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas official, fans in the Bay Area are understandably shocked and hurt while people in Nevada are rejoicing.
Owner Mark Davis appeared on radio to talk about the team’s decision to move and what it means going forward for both the franchise and their fans. According Raiders, Davis feels that the team will still serve a purpose in Oakland:
“I still have a feeling for the fans in the Bay Area… it makes this whole thing bittersweet,” Davis continued. “Even though we are leaving to play football games in Nevada, in Las Vegas, we’re not going to leave the Bay Area. We’re not going to leave that community, we’re still going to work the foundations, we’re going to work with the schools, and we’re going to continue to give the Raider effort.”
Davis also added that he understands the Oakland fan base’s anger and resentment, but that he should be the one to blame instead of the players on the team. He concluded by saying that he is excited about the team’s future and the Raiders still have the best fans in the world.
Davis filed for relocation back in January and the move seemed inevitable before Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs both pulled their financial support for the Las Vegas stadium project. With insufficient funding, Oakland seemingly had a brief window to come up with a plan to keep the team from moving. However, Bank of America agreed to fund the rest of the project and NFL owners voted 31-1 in favor of the Raiders move to Las Vegas during their annual owners’ meeting.