There are already plenty of Las Vegas fans who are eager to welcome the Raiders to town, but the NFL isn’t ready to let them buy Las Vegas Raiders apparel just yet.
The league is barring the Raiders from selling Vegas gear until the team leaves Oakland, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.
That seems like an odd decision: Perhaps the NFL doesn’t want to alienate Oakland fans, but the reality is Oakland fans already know their team is leaving town. Letting Vegas fans buy gear with their town’s name on it isn’t going to pour any more salt into the wounds.
It also means that unscrupulous sellers who make knockoff apparel will have the Las Vegas Raiders merchandise market to themselves. Some fans are going to want to start buying Raiders gear now, and those fans will turn to the sellers who violate the league’s copyright and create their own apparel with the Raiders’ name and logo.
Perhaps the Raiders are considering a rebranding that they’ll roll out when the team moves. There’s no way they’ll get rid of their signature Silver and Black, but a new logo could be coming, and that might be the impetus behind the decision not to sell any merchandise until they arrive in Las Vegas. Until then, only Oakland Raiders gear can be sold legally.