The Las Vegas Raiders are coming, and they may be here sooner than you think.
In late June, the city’s soon-to-be National Football League team filed the paperwork to begin construction of a new $1.9-billion stadium on a 62-acre plot on Russell Road near I-15. The 65,000-seat facility is scheduled for completion in time for the 2020 NFL season, but the team may opt to make the move east from Oakland a year early if their new home is ready in time.
The team has already run into its first opponent: parking. With just 2,300 parking spaces allotted for the proposed stadium’s site, the team and local officials are currently scrambling to find an additional 15,700 spots to meet zoning requirements. If the team can’t come up with a solution, pre-game tailgate parties may be put on hold.
The Beast, Unleashed
The relocation itself won’t take place for a few years, but the Raiders have already made a big move of a different sort. In April, the team officially acquired five-time Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2018 draft pick.
Nicknamed “Beast Mode” for his seemingly unstoppable stiff-arm runs, Lynch, who made headlines in 2015 when he replied “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” 29 times during a five-minute press conference ahead of Super Bowl XLIX, came out of retirement to play for the Raiders. It’s unclear just how effective Lynch will be as a player once the Raiders officially arrive in Vegas (he’ll be 33 or 34 years old), but if he’s still got some strength in his earthquake-inducing legs, the colorful back will be a favorite for the Silver and Black every Sunday.
With the team’s official arrival date still up in the air, you may have one fewer year to transform yourself into a Raiders superfan. Will you be ready?
Good Guys Wear Black
Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights, the National Hockey League expansion team set to begin play this October at T-Mobile Arena, the Raiders come to town with an established (and colorful) history.
Founded in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League, a rival circuit that briefly challenged the NFL before the two leagues merged in 1970, the Raiders are one of professional football’s most-storied franchises.
Under the leadership of coaches John Madden and Tom Flores, the Raiders were one of football’s most successful teams of the 1970s and ‘80s, winning the Super Bowl three times (twice as the Oakland Raiders in 1976 and 1980, and once as the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983 before returning to the Bay Area in 1995) and missing the playoffs just five times in their first 16 years in the NFL.
Driven by coach/general manager/owner Al Davis’ “Commitment to Excellence,” 12 Raider players are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, among them running back Marcus Allen, guard Gene Upshaw, iron-man center Jim Otto, and quarterback Ken Stabler.
In their 1970s heyday, the Raiders played a starring role in some of pro football’s most noteworthy moments, appearing in contests so memorable they’re recalled not by dates or scores, but by mythical nicknames: “The Sea of Hands,” “Ghost to the Post,” “the Holy Roller,” and “The Immaculate Reception.”
Welcome to the Dark Side
A big part of what makes the Raiders “the Raiders” has nothing to do with what goes on down on the field. Raiders fans are among the most passionate and dedicated in all of sports, and as a new member of Raider Nation, you’ll have the chance to join pro football’s most notorious and eccentric fan base.
Born from a rival league and led by the argumentative, “Just win, baby” ethos of Davis, the Raiders have cultivated an outlaw image for decades, personified in intimidating, edge-of-the-rules players like Jack “The Assassin” Tatum and Lyle Alzado. Being a Raider fan is about understanding not just the players and plays, but about becoming part of their mystique: You’re one of the bad guys now, and it feels so good.
As you watch the team’s home games at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum on television this fall, keep an eye on sections 104 through 107. This roiling mosh pit of silver and black is the Black Hole, the stomping grounds of the hardest of hardcore Raiders fans. That weird, loud, and boisterous community of face-painted diehards and costumed fans could one day include you. Take notes. You’re a part of the Raiders now. Strive for excellence.
Sky is a condo community on the Las Vegas Strip, and we’re thrilled that Vegas is welcoming not just one, but two professional sports teams in the next few years. Check out Sky Las Vegas today to learn more about the world-class living our residents enjoy.