The NFL owners voted 31-1 this week for the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas and the only major problem is that the new stadium won’t be ready until at least 2020. It’s like breaking up with your significant other when you still have 6 months on the lease you share. Sounds totally fair right? Fans still have the chance to see the Raiders play in Oakland with the knowledge that the team will be leaving….eventually.
I’m still not 100% why the owner of the Raiders thought that moving the team to the Gambling Hub of America was a good idea, but that’s not even the issue. The issue is that this was taken to a vote before there was even a stadium built, which makes no sense. Why do the vote now, when they don’t even have an investor to build the stadium? Why not wait until there’s somewhere for the team to move to before taking this to the owners for a vote?
It’s not fair to the fans to almost expect them to still come out and support the team now that they know the Raiders are leaving. It’s asking a lot out of fans that already supported the team moving. I would venture to say that Raiders Nation is the most supportive and loyal group of fans that will most likely travel to Vegas to watch the team, but that still doesn’t excuse the premature relocation efforts.
Plus there’s also the issue of all the temptations that come with playing in Vegas (i.e. gambling, adult entertainment, night clubs) that young players will have to avoid. Sure, the vets know when they can cut loose during the season and their own personal limits but how can you expect a rookie to behave themselves? Like that’s taking a kid to a candy store but telling them they can only have one piece, highly improbable.
The Raiders do have the added benefit of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the newest expansion team of the National Hockey League playing their first game later on this year. So they can almost see how successful the team will be in the market through the Golden Knights, which would have made more sense preceding the vote than following it.
But still the fact of the matter remains, taking all the possibilities of scenarios out, the Oakland Raiders should have waited to vote on relocation until they actually had a place to relocate to. It’s not fair to prolong the breakup with the city of Oakland.