Being a West Coast team, the Raiders usually rack up the most frequent flyer miles. It’s just the nature of the beast. But the Raiders have put that beast on steroids with their travel plans each season.
Before you start railing at the NFL for hating the Raiders (oh, you already started? Ok), the Raiders do this to themselves voluntarily. They opt into being the home team in international games each season, thus adding to what would be a lot of travel regardless.
All West Coast teams must go the farthest distance to reach most of their games. Now imagine having one fewer home game and taking that game to another continent. That’s what the Raider are doing this year.
Not only are they playing in London this year, but they will be traveling for 9 regular season games, while most teams travel for 8. In total, they will travel 31,732 miles this season, according to a league tally by CBS Sports. That’s 2,664 miles more than the next most miles traveled by the Seahawks who the Raiders play in that London game.
That’s a lot of miles, but as Topper from Dilbert might say “That’s nothing”.
In 2014, when the Raiders last visited London, their season miles tally was 36,106 — nearly 10,000 miles more than the next most which was again the Seahawks.
Even just last season, the Raiders traveled more miles than they will this season (32,876). That’s when they sent a home game to Mexico City — something they did in 2016 as well.
The only year in the past five which they didn’t send a home game to another country was 2015. And that season they still had the third most miles (26,336). Not surprisingly, four of the top five that seasons were the West Coast teams.
Each of the past five years the Raiders have traveled among the top three most miles in league; three of which they had the most miles. Here’s how that shakes out:
2018: 31,732 (1st)
2017: 32,876 (1st)
2016: 31,580 (2nd to Rams)
2014: 36,106 (1st)
NFL teams don’t exactly take buses to these locations, so it’s not that big of a deal. It just means more time on planes and in different time zones along with less time at home.