Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Las Vegas Raiders are still on schedule to move into their new home prior to the 2020 NFL season. The Raiders will be playing at Allegiant Stadium and will have their first home game on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2.
Although they will be relocating to Las Vegas, the team is still conducting its offseason plans back in California for the time being. While the Raiders usually host training camp in Napa, they were also considering moving it to Nevada where the stay-at-home orders are much more relaxed than California.
However, it appears a decision was made for them as they announced in a statement that they will be having training camp at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson.
“The Raiders are in receipt of the league’s memo dictating that all 2020 training camps must be held at each team’s home facility. We will follow the league’s protocol accordingly and begin preparations to host training camp at Raiders Headquarters in Henderson, Nevada. The Raiders would like to thank and acknowledge the city of Napa and the Napa Valley Marriott, which has been our summer home for 24 years. We will evaluate future training camp locations at a later date.”
The public health crisis spurred by coronavirus made the decision a relatively easy one for the NFL, so the Raiders will be moving states much sooner than anticipated. Training camp is not scheduled until July, so there should be enough time for their new training facility to be completed before then.
The NFL’s mandate makes a lot of sense due the current situation as it limits travel and in turn, a higher chance of contracting COVID-19. The league also banned joint practices, a useful tool and one that the Raiders have used in the recent years.
While the pandemic is still a cause of concern for the league, its teams and its players, recent test data results have been encouraging and a cause for some optimism that the upcoming regular season will start on time. Fans will almost definitely not be in attendance this year, but it is a good sign that the NFL offseason schedule is moving along as smoothly as it is.
For now, all the Silver and Black can do is continue preparing via their virtual meetings and get their new players up to speed as quickly as possible. With so many new faces on the roster and a lack of in-person training, the Raiders are at a slight disadvantage compared to the other teams but they should be a much-improved team when games officially kick off.