After spending the last week in Las Vegas, I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and finally saw some local football fans proudly wearing their Raider gear. I literally didn’t see anyone with a Raider jersey or hat on the whole time I was in Vegas. That should be a discouraging sign for the Raiders.
For many, many years, Los Angeles has always been like the old standby that the Raiders could possibly return to if a new stadium couldn’t be built in Oakland. That option was rudely snatched away from Mark Davis last year (January 12, 2016) and then the NFL forced Davis to wait on the Chargers’ decision to either go to LA or not. Davis wasn’t about to wait and decided to look elsewhere. When the Nevada legislature passed the now infamous “$750 Million plan” to help fund a stadium, it became fait accompli that the Raiders would be headed to Las Vegas in the near future.
Walking around the Strip and asking folks about their interest in the Las Vegas Raiders got me blank stares and the “I’m not a fan of the Raiders” response. I asked the bookmaker at the New York New York Casino if the Raiders move had generated some buzz (or bets!) and he said, “I think we’re just getting some Raider action because they’re 10/1 odds to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season”. Interestingly, they also had the Raiders at 5/1 to win the AFC just behind the Patriots. One young lady, mentioned that she worked at a local McDonald’s and didn’t really realize the Raiders were moving there until I had asked. She said, “It’s funny, cuz my family is crazy about football on Sundays…maybe we’ll get into it once they’re here and playing”.