At the end of last season as the Raiders said goodbye to Oakland, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr famously said it was “time for some fresh air” in regards to the team’s pending move to Las Vegas.
Now, with the the franchise’s first ever game in Las Vegas just a day away, Carr hasn’t lost any of his zest for the move. Carr said he and his family loved being in the desert and noted that they moved from the Bay Area to Southern Nevada as soon as possible to embrace this new era — both personally and professionally.
The Raiders play the New Orleans Saints at new Allegiant Stadium on Monday night. While Carr feels for Bay Area Raiders’ fans, he is fired up for this experience.
“I understand because I’ve been on the flip side where we were playing some of our final games in front of an Oakland crowd and I felt that pain. That was hard and I understood their frustration. I understood a lot of those people will never get to watch a Raiders game in person again,” Carr said this week.
“And at that same token, I understand the feelings of excitement for our city here in Las Vegas. Love this city. Moved right out here after the season, fell in love with it. My wife loves it. It’s good for the joints because it’s so hot, it’s easy for us to warm up for us old guys I’ll say because on this team I’m pretty old.”
Carr knows things will be different at Allegiant Stadium when fans can actually attend games there, but he has already felt a sense of the community and it reminds him of his college days at Fresno State.
“But, I feel bad (fans) won’t be able to be at the game,” Carr said. “But I do know that with us being here and playing a home game there is still a feel around town, ‘Oh, the Raiders are playing in town.’ So, it’s still exciting and I got people driving up next to my car and waiving and going nuts and stuff. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Fresno State. It’s a real college atmosphere.”
Viva Las Vegas, Derek.