The issue of relocation has divided Raider Nation since the decision was finalized, this is nothing new. However, the reality is now hitting home, where will the Raiders play meanwhile until their new home is ready?
An article recently in the SF Chronicle caused some speculation about some possibilities. As most of the Nation knows, the City of Oakland and the team are currently engaged in a lawsuit due to the relocation to Vegas. So could the Silver and Black remain in the Bay Area one last year? doesn’t look like it, at least not at UC Berkeley and Stanford’s respective stadiums according to said article.
So now what?
Could Nevada Be The Answer… Again?
The politics of relocation and the pain it has caused Oakland fans have been well documented. However, the fact remains the team needs a home. One thought that was shared was the possibility of the Raiders playing in Sam Boyd Stadium. At first glance, the occupant capacity would make it a logical choice, however, it’s not that simple.
For fans who might not be familiar with Nevada or UNLV, logistically speaking why wouldn’t Sam Boyd Stadium be a viable option for just one season for the Raiders?
“The reasons [that] Sam Boyd Stadium, which is 47 years old this year, wouldn’t be suitable for NFL games are numerous. First and foremost, the NFL has already deemed unsuitable for the requirements needed to make it television ready. The NFL, due to the requirements for multiple television angles for viewers and the league’s review needs, looked at it as the Raiders were preparing to get approval for the relocation. It didn’t pass muster. In addition, despite it able to have a 42,000 seat capacity (as it does for the Las Vegas Bowl), it’s not even close to as fan-friendly or capable of handling an NFL game.”
So it’s obvious that the stadium might simply not be up to the standard of the NFL. More importantly, as Mr. Gulbransen elaborated, the organization itself would be wary of bringing the Silver and Black to a “subpar” location.
“From sources inside the Raiders organization, the team also does not want to bring the team to Las Vegas where fans would have a subpar game experience prior to opening up the new stadium. If the stadium was adequate, UNLV wouldn’t be moving into the new facility when the Raiders complete it in 2020.”
Going Back To Cali… Or Rather, So Cal…
As a So Cal native and having grown up watching the Los Angeles Raiders I’d be hard pressed to say I have selfish wishes. I’d love for the Silver and Black to be playing less than two hours from my home, however, would San Diego be a fit? Well, the weather is nice (obviously) but I have seen some on social media who don’t believe SD to be a good fit due to “historical” reasons. After all, this was the home of the Chargers.
Look, I won’t debate the validity of a rivalry that goes back years and what might seem like a “rivalry” between two cities that are polar opposites. There are two reasons for this actually.
Raider Nation is Everywhere & Money
Simply put the fan base for the Raiders is very unique and when I say they’re “everywhere” I don’t say that lightly. From the legendary Bay Area to the luxurious desert in Vegas down to the smoggy skies in L.A. all the way down the suffocating altitude of Mexico City. The Nation is everywhere. So yes, a temporary home in San Diego would make sense for several reasons and before people get up in protest about how Qualcomm is a dump, folks, it would be one season.
The same fan base that overshadowed a Rams “home game” this preseason would show up in droves, in other words, we’re talking sold out games. Let’s not mince words, the NFL is a business first and foremost. So if San Diego will provide an opportunity for the Raiders and the league to cash in on California for a few more home games, yeah, they’re gonna do it no matter how much complaining there is on Twitter or Facebook.