Las Vegas Raiders: Will Mark Cuban Be Right?
Do the Raiders face challenges in their coming move from Oakland?
Billionaire “shark” and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban predicted this week that it’ll be snake eyes for the future Las Vegas Raiders.
It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders are trying to move to Las Vegas. In fact, it’s kind of out in the open with the whole “we’re building a stadium in Nevada” thing. After years of rumor, the franchise is taking concrete steps to ditch the Bay Area for the second time in its storied history. Perhaps, just like Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s, the new fling won’t work out and the Raiders will run back to their ex.
That was different, though: Al Davis, pure rogue that he was, moved the team to SoCal despite the NFL owners unanimously voting against it. This time, Davis’s son, Mark, has the backing of the league. All that’s left is to pack and leave while the new stadium is built.
Cuban, however, is having none of it. Like the late Al Davis, Cuban has no problem with candidness. He said that the impending move and founding of the Las Vegas Raiders is driven by greed. Further, said lust for greed will irritate the fans. Aside from that, he pointed out that the Raiders are moving to a smaller media market. Las Vegas is an up-and-coming metropolitan area, but it’s not the Bay Area.
Are The Las Vegas Raiders Really Doomed To Fail?
Now, just because the heading above asks the question doesn’t mean the Raiders will flop in Las Vegas. They will build a fanbase as one of only two “Big Four” teams in the region, with the other being the Vegas Golden Knights. There’s still the matter of the Black Hole they’re leaving behind in Oakland.
As we are seeing with NFL fans in St. Louis and San Diego, they might not follow their team. The St. Louis Rams fans have no reason to root for the Los Angeles Rams, and the fallout continues from the Chargers “bolting” up I-5. As a franchise, the Las Vegas Raiders will lose an established fanbase, which is hardly unexpected. In a sense, they’ll be starting over. The Rams had history in Los Angeles and the Chargers weren’t that far away. This team has no ties to where it’s going. It could take some time before the Raiders get where they want to be as a successful Las Vegas team.
Professional franchises have moved before and will do so again, but time will tell if Mark Cuban is right. Initially, however, it makes sense that the Las Vegas transition might present challenges in terms of revenue and fan support.