March 27, 2017

NFL team owners approve Raiders' move to Vegas: They still will play out two seasons in Oakland and one in a location TBD before moving to LV for the 2020 season.

posted by Joey Michaels to football at 03:41 PM - 26 comments

Raider Nation may have stayed together through the LA move and back, but Al Davis had a way of making you want to get behind the team. I don't think many fans will follow Mark out of town ... and expect a good amount of empty seats in Oakland before then.

posted by jjzucal at 04:28 PM on March 27

But what if they're really good? You think people will stay away from a Super Bowl contending team?

posted by NoMich at 04:53 PM on March 27

With a coach such as Jack Del Desierto, anything is possible.

posted by beaverboard at 06:05 PM on March 27

" expect a good amount of empty seats in Oakland before then."

I think it will be the opposite. What could be a better venue to go watch your team play a away game. Everywhere in the country has cheap flights to Vegas, hotel rooms are plentiful, inexpensive and you get a great weekend in Vegas. It will be like other events in Vegas where 80% of the attendees are from out of town.

posted by ic23b at 06:15 PM on March 27

ic23b: I think you misread jjzucal's quote. He said "empty seats in Oakland", not Las Vegas.

posted by grum@work at 07:29 PM on March 27

I like the idea of a team in Vegas, but Oakland and the Raiders go together like crime and punishment.

posted by rcade at 09:41 PM on March 27

But you repeat yourself.

posted by LionIndex at 09:48 PM on March 27

I don't know where they're going to find any cheerleaders.

posted by beaverboard at 10:56 PM on March 27

ic23b: I think you misread jjzucal's quote. He said "empty seats in Oakland", not Las Vegas."

Duh, Yep I sure did.

posted by ic23b at 11:24 PM on March 27

Raiders have a got shot this year if Carr is healthy. Will be pulling for them and Oakland fans.

This move is about nothing but money and as always the rich owners and the league win and the fans that support their businesses lose.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:27 AM on March 28

As ESPN late night Sports Center talker said last night, cixelsyd, the NFL is a business and as a business there was no way they were leaving $750M of government money on the table. Raiders were the lowest grossing team in the league, taking in about 40-45% of what the Cowboys did and Vegas is much more likely to get the bottom line closer to Dallas.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:20 AM on March 28

Team laundry shouldn't be a problem. There are people in Vegas who can get stains out of almost anything.

posted by beaverboard at 11:31 AM on March 28

the NFL is a business

I get this. But the owners are already billionaires and need another $750 million like I need another donut.

Where does it stop? I'm certain the Athletics can fetch more money in China than they do in Oakland, the Jaguars more in Dubai than in Jacksonville ...

posted by cixelsyd at 01:20 PM on March 28

Where does it stop?

If you accept the idea the league is a business, the answer is, "At maximum profits". Between the naked fleecing of cities and following English soccer*, this is an issue I'm really interested in. Once again, sports asks a question that probably applies to some larger issues in society down the road: does any of the value of a business in a capitalist country belong to the society/ physical location that spawned it? Are the Dallas Cowboys intrinsically worth $4 billion (or whatever) if you take them out of Dallas? Should you be able to do so, especially if you are not the original owner?

* Where this kind of movement is essentially a death sentence for a club.

posted by yerfatma at 02:24 PM on March 28

I became a Raiders fan when they were in Los Angeles, and I would have loved it if they had come back. But since I've never been to a game in Oaklandmeh. My relationship with them is through television and radio. Where they play home games doesn't actually matter to me. I'll catch them here in L.A. when they play the Chargers or the Rams. And I'll probably try to catch a game in Oakland before they leave. But Oakland, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas, it's all the same.

posted by forrestv at 03:08 PM on March 28

I can see some additional revenue sources for the Raiders in Las Vegas. Slots in the stadium clubs and luxury boxes come to mind. Running bets on various plays, such as next play run or pass or yards gained on next play over/under could be done in real time. Fans would have a device at their seat, log in with an account number and credit card, and use the device to enter their bets. It could generate some pretty good profits. Of course, running a Keno game would be good too. Use the Jumbo tron or whatever display to show the numbers during time outs. The possibilities are endless.

posted by Howard_T at 05:24 PM on March 28

I've wondered whether the fact that Sunday is often "getaway day" for Vegas visitors will affect their ability to draw a big out-of-town crowd. Certainly fans of visiting teams will come and stay though Monday (or catch a Sunday night redeye) to catch a game, but not sure about the causal visitor coming Thursday/Friday through Sunday for a bachelor party or whatever.

posted by holden at 10:58 PM on March 28

Fans attending the games is not the priority of ownership or the league here. They've increased the value of an asset and raised the bar for other similar transactions. Also increases the leverage for any other franchise seeking public money.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:01 AM on March 29

Also increases the leverage for any other franchise seeking public money.

I'm not so sure about that.

Yes, they've increased the threat level of "Maybe we'll move if we don't get what we want!" by having examples of teams actually doing it, but they've taken away one of the prime "threat locations".

By moving teams to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, they've removed two prime threats to existing cities keeping their teams.

What (legitimate) cities does that leave?

A third Texas team?
Back to St. Louis?

None of them held the possibility of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

posted by grum@work at 03:18 PM on March 29

A second Detroit team! Make this one a winner, please.
A second Chicago team! Make this one a loser as well, please.
Lumberton, NC! I mean, really, why the fuck not?

posted by NoMich at 05:48 PM on March 29

Toronto supports the Leafs, any other sports team is simply noise there. Detroit and Chicago have great sports fans and deserve 1 good team in each sport.

What about the south east? Be willing to bet College Football in the SEC pulls in waaaaay more cash than the NFL - if it's all about money why not Huntsville or Auburn?

posted by cixelsyd at 11:59 PM on March 29

Toronto supports the Leafs, any other sports team is simply noise there.

When the Leafs stunk for the last decade, the Blue Jays, Raptors and TFC capitalized for a couple of seasons. They established themselves as teams to cheer for for the younger fans.

Lots of kids support the Raptors instead of the Leafs.
Lots of immigrant kids (from Europe) support TFC instead of the Leafs.
Lots of fans in general supported the 2015 resurgence and 2016 repeat of the Blue Jays (especially with the heavy marketing by the cable giant Rogers).

That said, 2017 might be the last chance for the three other teams to establish themselves before the Leafs junior juggernauts really take hold.

Of course, it's a magical time in Toronto right now (and the past 12 months).

Leafs - young, exciting, and might make the playoffs (and might even play their favourite whipping boys, the Senators, in the first round)

Raptors - made it to the ECF, and (assuming Lowry is healthy) look real strong to take another long run in the playoffs

Blue Jays - back-to-back runs to the ALCS

TFC - lost the title in a shootout (but only after humiliating NY and their arch-rivals, Montreal).

So yes, back in the day the Leafs were the dominant sports team in Toronto, and if the win a round of the playoffs this year they might leap back on top of the heap, but the other teams aren't "noise" right now.

posted by grum@work at 01:10 AM on March 30

From a fan support perspective I think TFC has got a shot long term and is really being handled well.

From a business support perspective all of the big money rushes to the Leafs and the other franchises get the crumbs.

The Raptors and The Jays get decent fan support only when they are contenders. Management and ownership instability and lack of commitment to the fans hurts the brands. The assumption that fans in the market will continue to support mediocre teams in the same manner the market supports the Leafs is a mistake.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:05 PM on March 30

Detroit and Chicago have great sports fans and deserve 1 good team in each sport.

So you're saying that Detroit SHOULD get a second NFL team?

posted by tahoemoj at 12:47 PM on March 30

And has the ship sailed on the Lumberton idea?

posted by NoMich at 01:43 PM on March 30

why not Huntsville or Auburn?

Huntsville is way too close to Nashville for another NFL team to gain approval for a move there. The same holds true for any place in lower Alabama with respect to New Orleans. Birmingham is a possibility, but even there one finds a potential conflict with Atlanta.

posted by Howard_T at 06:58 PM on March 30

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