For the third time in just over one calendar year, an NFL team has announced it will be relocating. Indeed, the NFL gave the Raiders approval Monday to move to Las Vegas as early as 2019. In 2020, they are expected to move into a roughly $2 billion stadium, with $750 million in public financing.
The Raiders join the Rams and Chargers as teams that have announced relocations since January 2016.
As for the people of Oakland? Well, sorry.
“I feel badly for the fans in Oakland,” CBS Sports play-by-play voice Ian Eagle said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s a dedicated group. It’s a very passionate group, as we know. But look, it’s going to be successful. I know that. I know the NFL will make sure it’s successful. It’s a city that will embrace the team, and fans that were either on the fence or trying to figure out where their alliances fit in will now go to the Raiders and that general part of the country. Raiders fans will travel. They always do. They’ll find a reason to go to Vegas. Opposing teams will find a reason to go to Vegas. There will be the swing vote of people that just show up to go to the casinos and have some nice dinners and see some shows and then turn around and say, ‘Hey, let’s go to an NFL game.’ It’s going to be successful.
“I just feel as if, unfortunately, it didn’t have to come to this,” Eagle continued. “There were probably some stops along the way where maybe it could have been avoided. But California is tough, as we’ve learned. The public money is just not going to come their way, and they’re going to go where the money is. The green dollar is speaking large volumes right now.”
Still, isn’t it odd that three NFL franchise have relocated in just over a year?
“Very much so,” Eagle said. “I think it also shows where we stand. The money is so large and the ceiling is so high (that) it’s not just enough to be successful. You want to be mega-successful. I think the ownership group in Oakland, the ownership group in San Diego, I think they said all the right things. They wanted to see if it could work out in their respective cities, but ultimately, it was never going to happen. San Diego was not going to back the kind of stadium that the Chargers wanted. Oakland was not going to back the kind of stadium that the Raiders wanted. This, right now, is a chance to make more money to make these teams more valuable. It’s not right. It’s not fair. I wish it didn’t come to this. But the almighty dollar is going to take over in these situations. L.A. and Vegas just have a little bit more pizzazz right now than San Diego and Oakland to support these teams financially.”