On the heels of the Golden State Warriors exit from Oaktown, the Raiders will also leave Oakland. The East Bay team, a staple of the community for 35 years after the franchised moved from Los Angeles, will find a new home in for Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Raiders will play two additional seasons in Oakland before leaving for Sin City in 2019. The team will move into a temporary home as a new construction is designed and built for the team.
The announcement came after a 31-1 vote Monday at the NFL’s annual owners meeting. The Miami Dolphins were the only opposition.
Why the move out of Oakland? The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, that’s why. One of the oldest stadiums used in the NFL, the team was unable to secure a new stadium in Oakland.
In addition to being long in the broken tooth, the circa-1966, brutalist stadium is hardly considered the most pleasing when it comes to a sports-viewing experience. Most notably, Mount Davis, a section of third deck seating added in 1995 care of former Raiders owner Al Davis, replaced a glorious view of the Oakland hills to the east.
The stadium also serves as the home of the Oakland Athletics. Baseball-football stadiums soon fell out of favor, especially as NFL became a bloated, money-first industry.
“The dual-use quickly became defunct as the business of expensive stadiums put a premium on sites that are tailor-made for the tenant,” reports SB Nation. “The Raiders’ desire of a new stadium was largely predicated on the fact that it did not want to share a stadium with the A’s anymore.”
Further, ever since the San Francisco 49ers opened their new Santa Clara outfit, the desire for new digs proved irresistible.
Is this a good thing? That depends on who you ask.
“Great for the Raiders in that they get $750M in direct public funding for stadium and $200M in infrastructure improvements around the new stadium. Oakland couldn't afford to do that,” says SB Nation’s David Fucillo, adding, “The Raiders have a sizable contingent of LA fans from their time down there in the ’80s and early ’90s, and those folks will travel to Las Vegas. Older Bay Area fans are used to losing the Raiders, different for younger fans.”
In a statement today, owner Mark David referenced his father, Al Davis, saying: “My father used to say that the greatness of the Raiders is in the future...I have mixed feelings, obviously. I love Oakland. I understand that that there will be some disappointment, and anger.”
With another major sports team bolting from the city, the Oakland A’s will remain the only major league team left in The Town.
- Raiders will relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas [SB Nation]
- NFL approves Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas [SF Chronicle]
- Architects Say Levi's Stadium is Ready for Its Big Close-Up [Curbed SF]
- Another Warriors Heartbreak For Oakland [Curbed SF]