It seems I may have gotten some bad intel. It had been my understanding that it was in the Raiders’ contract with Nevada when they received the $750 million in public money that they must hold training camp in state. Now I am finding out that is not actually the case.
As it turns out, the Raiders had explored some potential sites in Reno at one point, but there is nothing that says they must have training camp there or anywhere else in Nevada.
And if they don’t absolutely have to leave Napa for training camp, it makes all the sense in the world to keep camp right where it is.
The setup is perfect.
It’s a Marriott Hotel with an entire section they can close off for just team use, including banquet rooms and a back door that leads right to the training camp field which the rest of the year is used by Redwood Middle School. I can’t imagine a more convenient setup.
“This is a tremendous place to hold training camp,” said Jack Del Rio. “The meeting space is good and the field. We don’t have guys on scooters and carts trying to go all over the place. They’re right there. It’s kind of self-contained. It has everything we want in training camp. We’re very blessed to be in a great setting like this and we’re going to make the most of it.”
Everything is already in place.
No need to sink a bunch of money and time and effort into finding another spot that even comes close to what they already have. With the construction of the stadium and a practice facility that figures to be in the same vicinity as the stadium and the airport, letting training camp stay right where it is would be one less thing to worry about.
Keeps a connection with Bay Area fans.
If Mark Davis honestly wants to maintain some level of goodwill with the fans in the Bay Area, keeping training camp an hour up the road from Oakland would be a good way to do that. So that for a month out of a year, the Bay Area fans who stuck with the team would have them close by. And if they keep their season tickets, their day at camp would be the one thing that wouldn’t be a road trip. I’m reminded of when the Raiders scrimmaged with the Cowboys for a few days two years ago. The fan turnout was tremendous. The Southern California Raider faithful was ecstatic to have the team in training camp right up the road.
It’s the (freaking) Napa Valley!
This is some of the most gorgeous countryside anywhere, especially this time of year. The mornings are nice and cool, the afternoons are gorgeous, and the summer nights are a comfortable 65 degrees. The first day of training camp the past couple years over 100 Raiders alumni and their families made the pilgrimage. They had breakfast and lunch in a garden courtyard at the Marriott and then had an evening gala at a vineyard.
While it has hovered around 75-80 this week in Napa and figures to top out around 90 degrees this camp, it will hit 105 degrees in Reno today. And...it’s Reno.
There’s a reason the Dallas Cowboys have held their training camp near the coast in Southern California for years. Cuz it gets hot as shit in the DFW area and the humidity makes it downright unbearable even when it isn’t causing thunderstorms. In Oxnard where they hold camp, the hottest it will get according to the forecast is 82 degrees. And no thunderstorms.
The Cowboys camp situation is also an example of how there’s really no reason a team needs to hold training camp close to where they play. The whole point is to get away, free of distractions, and focus on preparing for the season.