NFL Raiders’ fans are heartbroken as the team’s inevitable relocation to Las Vegas has been recently confirmed. Raiders Coach Jon Gruden explained after one recent team practice
“we have very loyal fans. It’s going to be heartbreaking in some ways; it’s going to be ultra exciting in others to see the future of this franchise.”
Fans are devastated, regardless, they are filling up the bleachers surrounding the Raiders training grounds in Oakland, wearing their beloved black jerseys and cheering at the top of their lungs.
The team is asking fans to
“stick with them until they load up the moving vans.” “It’s just awkward is the best way to describe it,” said Ken Webb, 57, a lifelong Raiders fan. “It’s not a comfortable way to do it.
I would not want a slow break up with my girlfriend. If you’re going to go, then go. I don’t expect you to still cook for me while I’m building a new house with my new girlfriend.” Other fans have asserted that they are sticking by the players and the team no matter where they go!
Once a Raider always a raider
The team’s move will disrupt plenty of activities in the state, while the club’s officials are taking measures to ensure a smooth transition. For instance, refunds have been offered to season-ticket holders and according to media reports over 1,000 tickets have been returned and resold to fans hours later. On the other hand, places such as Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill, a staple hangout for Oakland fans, are at a crossroads as the team plays their final season out of Oakland.
With mixed emotions, fans are expressing their support for the team on social media platforms and by attending practices.
“I used to go to games with my uncle, and I’ve carried on the tradition with my family,”
said one fan.
He’s not upset at the team for finding a new home and feels the city should have done more to keep the Raiders. Still, he doesn’t want to see them leave. Some fans are planning to attend games in Las Vegas, commenting that Nevada is a short flight away.
The new facility and stadium at Las Vegas
The Raiders are relocating starting next year after filing all their paperwork to leave wine country, Oakland. The new 320,000-square-feet headquarters will house one-and-half football fields, a training centre and office space. Expected to open spring of 2020, the team will be playing their home games in the Las Vegas stadium, with a capacity to seat 65,000 fans. Commenting on the development of the facility and stadium, Raiders team president Marc Badin says, “We’re pleased with the progress that has been made and wants to thank those who are working diligently on the project.”