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Hurry Up and Wait: The Raiders Slowly Transition to Las Vegas

Las Vegas Stadium rendering

With the Oakland Raiders certain to play the 2018 NFL season at the Oakland Coliseum and perhaps the 2019 season, team officials are split between generating revenue in the Bay Area while making plans in Las Vegas.

To say there’s enthusiasm in Las Vegas for the arrival of the Raiders is an understatement: the team has already sold out its luxury club seats (which carry a Personal Seat License starting at $20,000) and made lots of headway in selling 100 luxury suites. One can imagine there will be plenty of response when season tickets go on sale.

For a sales rep, there’s nothing worse than seeing such demand and having nothing specific to sell. Yes, the Raiders should be in Las Vegas by 2020, but that leaves 2019 up in the air. Right now the new Las Vegas stadium is not generating much in the way of big bucks save the Personal Seat Licensing, and the tea must make financial arrangements to play 2019 in Oakland or perhaps a temporary location like San Antonio should the Coliseum be unavailable. (Shades of the 1928 Duluth Eskimos!) And that’s putting some pressure on Raiders owner Mark Davis and his front-office staff, per the San Jose Mercury News:

It’s an unprecedented, delicate balancing act trying to endear themselves to their future market without offending their current home.

“That’s the toughest part of this whole thing,” Davis said. “As excited as I am about the Las Vegas opportunity and what we’re doing here, I certainly don’t want to over-overstate it at this time because I still want to show respect to the fans up in Oakland and to the Raider Nation as a whole.

“They’re the greatest fans in the world, in Oakland, and we’ve never said anything different. Throughout this whole process, it’s never been about the lack of fans or the lack of their passion for the Raiders. It’s never, ever been that. And whenever I’ve had a chance to reiterate that, I have.

“It all came down to the public entities and where they felt their efforts should be placed. And obviously we didn’t rank number one. They took the approach that why should we give you money? And it was never about them giving us money. And I’ve said that a number of times. All we ever asked for was help to stay in the Bay Area. It’s the most beautiful place in the world. We’ve got the greatest fans in the world up there. But we needed a place that would allow us to compete financially with the rest of the NFL.”

Renderings courtesy MANICA Architecture. 

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