The Raiders will eventually be called the Las Vegas Raiders. But so long as they are still in Oakland, they will be known as the Oakland Raiders, Roger Goodell confirmed Monday. How long that will be is still undecided.
Though the Raiders have yet to officially sign a lease extension for 2017 to play in Oakland, Mark Davis still intends to play at the Oakland Coliseum the next two years, and perhaps even through 2019 depending on how things go.
“We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens,” said Davis. “We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”
That last statement has a very bittersweet feel to it considering the Raiders are finally good again after 14 years without a winning season and watching a team win a Super Bowl would have some serious mixed emotions knowing they would be leaving soon thereafter.
The key word in Davis’s statement is ‘plan’ which suggests it is dependent upon the reaction of the fans to the idea. It’s unusual to play in a city that knows you are leaving, so it’s still unknown how well that will work.
One indication would be if fans begin dumping their tickets, including those who have already made season ticket deposits, on which Mark Davis said today he would honor refunds, telling Raiders fans in Oakland “If any fans have any deposits for season tickets you’d like to refund we’d be happy to do that. Not happy, but...”
It will be interesting to see how fans in Oakland react to this news with regard to their season tickets and attendance at games. This was always a strange part of Davis’s plans, almost as if he expects the support for the Raiders to exist no matter where they are located -- even in a city form which he is about to take the team away for a second time in it’s history.