As the Raiders get ready to begin their inaugural season as the Las Vegas Raiders, owner Mark Davis reflected on a significant defeat that ultimately ended up paving the way to southern Nevada.
Via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, Davis said that the Raiders losing out on the league vote on their proposal to relocate to Southern California ended up being a massively beneficial moment for the franchise even if it didn’t appear so at the time.
The Raiders had proposed a new stadium in Carson, California that would be shared with the Los Angeles Chargers as part of a joint venture. Instead, Stan Kroenke won the support for his project to build a new stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood to move the Rams from St. Louis back to Los Angeles with an invite extended to the Chargers to join them at their new site.
The Raiders were boxed out and returned to Oakland where they were unable to work out a stadium solution for the future.
“I have lost games before,” Davis said. “That’s how I have learned to live my life — you lose on Sunday, you’re pissed about it, I go to P.F. Chang’s on Monday, I have lunch and then I am on to the next week. We got our ass kicked in LA, and we went back to Oakland with our tails between our legs. And then (Scott) McKibben backtracked and tripled our lease, and it was total disrespect. It was like, how are we going to work with these people?
McKibben was the former director of the Coliseum Authority that dealt with the Raiders and Athletics at the Coliseum. As the team was unable to reach any solution with the city, Alameda County and other involved entities, Davis turned his focus to Las Vegas.
“Vegas had been after us for years, but I told them I will only talk to you if Oakland and Los Angeles don’t happen. Losing the LA vote was probably the best thing that ever happened for us,” Davis said.
And while the circumstances around the first season in Las Vegas aren’t going to be ideal due to the ongoing pandemic, Davis will have a market and stadium all to themselves moving into the future.