Oakland Raiders’ future Las Vegas Stadium photo via MANICA Architecture
After seeing many Washington Capitals fans fill the Las Vegas Golden Knight’s arena during Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, should the Oakland Raiders and Mark Davis be worried about keeping a special home-field advantage in Las Vegas once the Raiders move there in a few seasons.
The Oakland Raiders have always had an incredible tailgating experience. It is what makes Raider Nation and the franchise so special as there are thousands of fans cooking, eating, drinking, and tossing footballs around before the game kicks off in Oakland.
Raiders owner Mark Davis realized how special that atmosphere was and made it a priority when considering locations and proposals for the new stadium he desperately wanted.
However, his goal of having a tailgating experience in Las Vegas seems to be far-fetched at best.
With many Bay Area Oakland Raiders fans heartbroken and upset over owner Mark Davis relocating the team to Las Vegas, the second generation owner decided to go on 95.7 the game with JT “The Brick” Tuesday to clear the air as much as he can at this point.
Shockingly, Davis revealed that he went so far as to offer up 20 percent of his franchise to keep the team in the East Bay, only to be strung along and ultimately disrespected.
“There is a myth out there that I wouldn’t put up equity to help drive a deal in Oakland. That is the farthest thing from the truth. I offered 20 percent of the team to be purchased by Colony Capital at a very reduced value. I also did the same thing for Floyd Kephart. I offered 20 percent of the team so that a developer that came in, should the city provide us with the land through either a long-term lease at very favorable rates or some type of sale that again was at very favorable rates, that we would be able to bring a developer in and with them having been able to purchase an equity stake in the Raiders at a low value we would be able to share and that would give us the ability to fill the funding gap that we had.”
Perhaps the most surprising part of the interview was that Davis offered to sell 20 percent of the team to Floyd Kephart of Colony Capital and the Oakland Athletics, in order to help raise money to keep the team in the East Bay.
The two sides weren’t able to strike a deal despite Davis stating that he was close to securing one with Colony Capital in the summers of 2013 and 2014. However, when the Oakland Athletics signed a 10-year lease with the city shortly thereafter followed by the city exponentially increasing the Raiders’ rent — Davis stated he felt disrespected and that a deal wasn’t likely to ever come to fruition.
With the Raiders stuck in Oakland for at least the 2017 season, fans can expect to continue to hear both Davis and Schaaf get on their public relations kicks early and often.
Photo via Stan Olszewski/ Special to S.F. Examiner
*** an explicit take on the Raiders move to Vegas ***
As the leader of a franchise, Mark Davis’ job is to do everything he can to win. The move to Las Vegas does nothing to help the Raiders win football games.
At some point in the near future, the Raiders will pack up and move to Vegas. Few teams have ever had a successful season the year after they moved. The Rams were terrible last year, going 4-12, the Indianapolis Colts went 4-12 in 1984, and the Chargers probably will be terrible, too. In the small window that the Raiders are Super Bowl contenders, there’s no guarantee moving will be negative, but it certainly won’t have any positive impact.
The team’s move could also provide a huge distraction in Oakland.
Mark Davis signed away the greatness of the Raiders
The move to Las Vegas will rid of what is considered the greatest fan base in sports. The stadium plans, to be successful, would need a huge number of corporate sponsors to fill seats, tourists, and thousands of fans each game day to come to support the other team.
Stanford economist Roger Noll zeroed in on the forecasts for Raiders games to explain his skepticism of these estimates.
Nevada tourism officials are predicting the Raiders will sell about 43,000 tickets per game to Las Vegas area residents, which Noll thinks is a sound estimate, as Las Vegas will be one of the smaller NFL markets. The Raiders will sell out the 65,000-seat stadium, according to tourism estimates, by bringing roughly 22,000 tourists per game. Each of those tourists will stay an average of 3.2 nights, spending about $1,200 outside of the stadium while in town.
“There has never been a sports stadium in history that has had that type of economic impact,” said Noll, who has studied the economic impacts of stadiums for decades. “In order for those financial projections to work, this has to be the most successful football stadium ever built.”
Without the fan base, the team loses its aura of greatness. Every team knew coming to Oakland, it was going to be a tough game. Not because of the team, but because of the intensely passionate fan base.
Mark Davis signed away future home games for the Raiders
There’s talk of fans boycotting the remaining games in Oakland, which means there’s no guarantee that the fans who do go will support the team. The incredible Oakland fan base will never be the same, even during the remaining games in Oakland.
At best, the Vegas stadium will be half full of Raiders fans. Fans from other teams and corporate men and women who don’t give a s*** about football will attend. We know this will be the case because it’s exactly what’s happened with the 49ers and the Warriors. Once money becomes the driving force, corporations take over.
The Las Vegas Raiders will be without a part of Raider Nation that made the organization special.
Mark Davis signed away an incredible market
Mark Davis is leaving a top-five market in the country for the no. 40 ranked market. The market potential, with the gentrification of Oakland and influx of money in the area, is incredible. Silicon Valley is an hour away, and San Francisco is across the bridge. The Niners ineptitude has opened the Bay Area market for the Raiders’ taking, too. Rising stars like Khalil Mack, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper have turned the Raiders into contenders, while the Niners are coming off a 2-14 season.
Las Vegas is wasting close to $1 billion in tax money to support a team when they still have many other pressing needs, too. Las Vegas public administrator, James Nagourney was upset with the decision.
“Our schools are ranked 50th in the nation, and we’re going to spend $1 billion on a football team that we don’t have enough people to support,” Nagourney said. “I got angry.”
Mark Davis signed away stability
The Vegas deal brings a lot of risk. The Raiders will have to take on close to $1 billion in debt. If the revenue streams don’t work out as planned, if fans don’t flock to Vegas for games, the Raiders could easily find themselves with empty pockets. There’s no doubt that a team without money to sign good players, like Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, would struggle to win football games.
The proposed stadium in Oakland is not as impressive, like the Las Vegas stadium plans to be, but the financial risk is minimal and Oakland has great potential.
“It is a catenation of optimistic assumptions,” he said. “The probability that it could happen isn’t zero, but it is pretty close to zero.”
“The question is, why are they persisting? Why would they go with this phony baloney stuff that Vegas is different. Why would they believe a half a million who would never visit Vegas would suddenly show up because there is a football stadium? It’s so far out there it is a puzzle.”
“Bank of America is in no way going to run the slightest risk of losing that money. Maybe behind the scenes, it is guaranteed by the county or state of Nevada. Mark Davis is not a rich enough person that he can afford to add another $650 million debt to this transaction on top of relocation fees and on top of what he already is contributing to it. So who is it?”
Mark Davis’ F*** You
The mystique and loyalty that his dad brought to Raider Nation have been stripped away in one vote. There was a possible deal in Oakland, which was supported not only by Oakland politicians, but by former Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask.
“I do think there’s a deal to be done in Oakland. I absolutely do,” Trask, now a CBS Sports NFL analyst, said on Monday. “It’s the best served of any stadium in the National Football League with transportation to the door. It’s on a major freeway artery. The ingress and egress is better than most stadiums. It’s a phenomenal site.”
Mark Davis never met with Oakland officials, which goes against NFL rules and the rules he signed in the Oakland lease. Whatever prevented him from striking a deal with Oakland, whether it be ineptitude or him not wanting to stay (He denied meeting requests by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf), Mark never tried to get anything done in Oakland. He never spent a dime in Oakland to find a resolution, which is against the NFL’s relocation rules.
Mark didn’t care and did not want to stay in Oakland.
According to former football journalist, and current attorney Michael Abromowitz, Mark Davis bought the domain LasVegasRaiders.com on Dec. 25, 1998. It seems it was his dream to move to Vegas.
By winning the vote 31-1, Mark has finished his royal f*** you to all of Raider Nation. Raider Nation, we should all be mad at Mark Davis. There was a deal to be done in Oakland, but he wanted no part of it.
Raider Nation will mobilize and see Mark Davis in court in the near future.
As for us fans, we should dislike Davis all we want. The loyalty and passion we showed were not reciprocated. The man did not care for us no matter what he says in the media. He got his wish by getting out of his father’s shadow in Oakland.
Mark and the NFL created “fake news” about Oakland not being able to get anything done, thus creating a pathway for them to move to Vegas. Mark also said that the lease being raised by $3 million was the turning point. To combat this, he could have raised season ticket prices by $10, no one would have cared, and he would have made all that money back plus $3 million.
Goodbye Mr. Davis
I will support the players and the team for as long as they are in Oakland. As soon as they move to Vegas, I don’t know. However, there is no doubt I will not be supporting Mark Davis.
As for football, it is only right for us to support Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and the rest of the Raiders; they worked their asses off to bring winning football to Oakland.
Raider Nation, if Mark Davis gives a f*** you, then we should give one back. I personally don’t agree with boycotting the games in Oakland, as it’s taking our opportunity to finally see a winning a team and support our players. We should be rowdy in the Coliseum, though, starting chants in opposition of Vegas and Mr. Davis. Don’t spend any money in Vegas, and voice your opinion to the media. Fans, like the Forever Oakland group, will likely start a movement to sue Mr. Davis.
The Raiders are forever in Oakland, and Mark Davis will see what he’s missing when he gets to Vegas. It’s a bad financial move, and it’ll keep the Raiders from winning football games. If Mark can’t see that, then lets all hope he goes bankrupt so a legitimate owner can take over this great, proud franchise.
Goodbye Mr. Davis, and good luck to the OAKLAND Raiders