It’s official: the Oakland Raiders are now the Las Vegas Raiders, becoming the third team to move city in the past two years. According to Adam Schefter, only the Miami Dolphins were opposed to this move when the NFL owners voted on it.
Raiders to Vegas: 31-1 Miami opposed, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 27, 2017
The St. Louis Rams became the Los Angeles Rams last year, and the San Diego Chargers turned into the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this season. I guess California can’t have that many teams, and the Raiders felt they had to move to the desert-slash-entertainment city.
At least now the NFL won’t be able to stick its head in the sand and pretend that there’s no connection between it and gambling.
It’s a bit sad to see the Raiders leave California, though the team has always been willing to move to suit the vagaries of its owners. The late Al Davis notoriously tried to get all he could out of both Los Angeles and Oakland, between whom he moved and threatened to move repeatedly. At one point, Davis even sued the NFL—no one could accuse him of operating on nostalgia and fan feeling.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still nice and comfortable in Tampa, having just renovated their stadium in a pretty expensive move. Even though fans panic periodically about a Bucs move, there’s no reason to believe any move is remotely imminent. The team is heading to Las Vegas, though: in 2020, when they’re set to play the Raiders in the regular season again. And with a bit of luck, they’ll head to Las Vegas for a Super Bowl at some point, too.