Raiders-to-Vegas idea: Breakthrough or Bust?

The Raider’s legacy in Oakland may come to an end with a possible move to Las Vegas, rumors continue to circle Friday when New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft expressed support for team’s potential relocation to Vegas.

The capital of ‘Bright Lights’, Las Vegas is the next potential landing spot for the Raiders – amidst all of the distractions the city proposes and the fact that this will be the city’s first NFL level team.

Will this work?

With a city with so many things to do, it is easy to wonder how the Raiders can convince half of the party goers and alcoholics to sit down and each a game of football. Could Las Vegas really create a football culture, full of die hard fans and a community that has a passion for the game – rather than the type for just the scene, or being another indifferent, drunk referendum.

Oakland to Vegas would be a huge move in a cultural perspective, football town to party city, it would be a dramatic change; fans and Oakland supporters would agree that the
leave would be due to obvious financial reasons. Kraft had expressed his support for the Raiders-to-Vegas idea in an interview with USA Today Sports.

“I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft told the newspaper. “I’m looking at where we are today, and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years…we’re just living a different
world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas.”

The Patriots owner reflected how different the exploration of the market is now compared to when he was in office back in 94’, and how the financial challenges of moving the team to Vegas wouldn’t be as crazy as it sounds.

In a town that established its own sense of football culture back in the 1980s, the black and silver have been widely known around Bay Area as the “baddest” team in the league, despite there huge decline the team’s success the past years. Rappers like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Eazy-E helped trademark the team’s brand worldwide when the Raiders had moved to Los Angeles, the team’s colors, and image reflected a new era of pop culture.

The Raiders had established a hip-hop culture in sports, attracting many Hispanic and African Americans in a time when the rise of immigration, gang violence, and real estate
boom was quickly changing the city. The team had sort of blended the Los Angeles culture into there Oakland roots; when brought back to Oakland, the team had really established its own style and formed a sense of identity.

With NFL legends like Marcus Allen, Ken Stabler (The Snake), Bo Jackson, and even their iconic owner Al Davis, who has been the heart and soul for nearly four decades, it will be hard to notion a change with so much history in the city.

One can see why Oakland fans are in such an uproar, just seeing the reaction when the team had almost made a move back to Los Angeles again, one can imagine how irate Bay Area will become when the team goes to Vegas. In a cultural aspect, the team’s change
would be a dramatic one, and would have some kind of lingering affect on the personal – whether players and staff admit it or not.

Will the Sin City Raiders resonate with fans and Vegas residents?

There are many questions that will come into play, other than the obvious financial, business aspect of the team’s dramatic change.

Photo By: BrokenSphere (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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