77°F
weather icon Clear

Raiders’ Jon Gruden excited after Las Vegas stadium tour

Updated February 28, 2019 - 5:49 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — In April 2017, a billboard that declared “the Raiders are coming” was the first visible hint a 62-acre dirt lot in Las Vegas beside Interstate 15 might morph into something more. Today, the $1.8 billion project has taken shape, crews with cranes installing the stadium’s foundation.

The future is building.

So is Jon Gruden’s comfort discussing it.

The Raiders coach inherited a delicate situation when hired in early 2018. The franchise was poised to relocate to Las Vegas in 2020 but remained in the Bay Area. Gruden recognized the sensitivity, sidestepping the Las Vegas topic when possible. On Thursday, he publicly acknowledged the franchise’s future home at length for the first time.

The move, after all, is one year away.

Gruden recently visited the stadium site, he told Raiders reporters at the NFL scouting combine. The conversation occurred in a group interview after a news conference he held.

“It’s exciting when you go to Las Vegas,” Gruden said. “You can’t deny that the stadium they’re building is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in my lifetime. The Oakland Raiders brand, the Las Vegas Raiders brand to me is as good as there is in all of sports. To be a part of it is something that really fires me up.”

Gruden held more than 100 news conferences in the Bay Area last year.

He referenced Las Vegas once by name, and that comes with an asterisk.

On Jan. 9, 2018, the Raiders introduced Gruden at an event that was less a news conference and more a “welcome home” ceremony. The Raiders held it inside their weight room to account for the number of attendees, who included Pro Football Hall of Fame members such as Tim Brown, Howie Long, James Lofton and Jerry Rice. In total, 230 chairs were set up. About 25 video cameras filmed it, and 115 media members were credentialed.

Gruden and owner Mark Davis shared a stage.

At one point, a reporter asked Gruden about Las Vegas.

“I’ll let Mark talk about Vegas,” Gruden said. “I am a real short-term, goal-oriented coach. Big reason why I’m here is the passion I have for the city of Oakland and this franchise. People in the Black Hole, if you are listening, I can’t wait to see you guys. I really can’t, and I would like to fill that place with Raider fans at least seven or eight more times. That is all I care about right now.”

By the day, Las Vegas is becoming more of a short-term subject.

When the Raiders signed coaches to multiyear contracts this offseason, the fact Nevada charges no state income taxes arose in discussions. As the March 13 start to free agency nears, that same reality regarding Nevada’s tax structure will be mentioned in negotiations, possibly framing certain deals’ structure and cash flow.

Increasingly, on their free time, coaches and players can discuss scouting reports on where to live in the Las Vegas region, whether to buy, build or rent. The Raiders’ headquarters will be based in Henderson. What is near there? How’s the drive from Summerlin? Is it best to buy in 2019 or wait until 2020?

Such talks, like the stadium’s construction, are gradually developing over time.

In the interim, Gruden remains respectful to Oakland and its fans. He basked in the Black Hole on Dec. 24 following an NFL victory thought maybe to be the city’s last. He hoped for the Raiders to continue playing there in 2019. As early as this Friday, a lease agreement is expected to be finalized that would establish parameters under which the Raiders would occupy the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for another season — or two if the Las Vegas stadium is delayed.

Gruden saw the construction firsthand.

“The walls are going up,” Gruden said. “It’s in a pretty good spot. There’s a lot of action down there, man.”

More Raiders: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

LIVECAM: Monitor the progress of Las Vegas Stadium in this view looking south toward the construction site.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
Jon Gruden Monday Press Conference - FULL PRESSER
After losing to the Green Bay Packers Jon Gruden spoke from Raiders HQ ahead of the practice week and preparing for the Houston Texans. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Trade Gareon Conley to the Texans - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced on Monday that cornerback Gareon Conley had been traded to the Houston Texas just a few days before the two teams play. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders lose to Packers 42-24 in Green Bay - VIDEO
The Raiders lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 42-24 in Green Bay ending their two game winning streak. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Carr's Fumble Proves Costly, Swings Game in Favor of Packers - VIDEO
On what looked to be a rushing touchdown, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fumbled into the endzone during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers and it was ruled a touchback. That play resulted in a 14 point swing for the Packers that the Raiders could not overcome. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Raiders Lose at Lambeau, Fall to Packers 42-24 - Video
The Raiders handed over a two-game winning streak after Derek Carr fumbled in the end zone and it was ruled a touchback. The Silver and Black were unable to come back from such a disastrous mistake and lost to the Packers 42-24.
Gameday Preview: Raiders will face the Packers without Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams - Video
The Raiders are fresh off a bye week, but will face the Green Bay Packers without starting right tackle Trent Brown and wide receiver Tyrell Williams. The Vegas Nation team previews the matchup and breaks down who may step up on the offensive line and from the wide receivers in Lambeau Field. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raider fans say their tradition is a lot like the Packers - Video
Raider fans visiting Lambeau Field ahead of the team playing the Packers discuss parallels they see in the teams' history, compare their stadiums histories and talk about the Raiders' move to Las Vegas. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Finish Preparations for Packers, Gruden's Return to Green Bay - VIDEO
The Raiders held their final practice before traveling to Green Bay, where head coach Jon Gruden was an assistant coach earlier in his career. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' Trent Brown Doubtful, Tyrell Williams Out Sunday Vs Packers - VIDEO
The Raiders finished up their preparations for the Green Bay Packers on Friday, and listed offensive tackle Trent Brown as doubtful and wide receiver Tyrell Williams out due to injury. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul Guenther Upset By Decision of Vontaze Burfict Suspension - VIDEO
Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther expressed his feelings on linebacker Vontaze Burfict's suspension being upheld. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul Guenther Calls Burfict's Suspension a 'Witch Hunt,' Waller Signs Extension - VIDEO
For the first time since Vontaze Burfict's suspension was upheld by the NFL, Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther spoke about the situation and was verbally unhappy with the outcome of the appeal. The Raiders signed tight end Darren Waller to an extension. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' Ingold Praised by Gruden Ahead of Return to Green Bay - VIDEO
Raiders rookie fullback Alec Ingold will return home to Green Bay, Wisconsin this Sunday when the team plays against the Packers. Head coach Jon Gruden praised the rookie after Wednesday's practice. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Raiders' Trent Brown Accused of Domestic Violence - VIDEO
Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown has been accused of domestic violence in a lawsuit filed earlier this week. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Announce New Sponsorship With San Manuel Casino - Video
The Raiders announce a new sponsorship deal with San Manuel Casino for when the team moves to Las Vegas in 2020.
Raiders' partnership with San Manuel Casino - VIDEO
The Raiders will host a press conference on Monday afternoon, October 14 at the Raiders Preview Center In Las Vegas. Raiders President Marc Badain and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena, along with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians CEO Loren Gill will kick off the announcement with remarks of the partnership followed by photo and interview sessions.
Raiders Return to Practice, Prepare for Packers - VIDEO
Coming off of their bye-week, the Raiders returned to practice Monday to begin preparations for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Offensive Guard Gabe Jackson and Wide Receiver Zay Jones practiced with the team for the first time this season. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Like The Progress of Young Team, Acquire WR Zay Jones - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden likes what he sees out of his young team who have been impressive despite injuries to veteran players. The team acquired wide receiver Zay Jones from the Buffalo Bills in a trade. The youthful Raiders are currently 3-2 and have and are on a bye week before playing the Packers in Green Bay. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Highlights from the NFL London - Raiders-Bears feature video
In the first NFL game to be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the Raiders came away with a win over the Bears to bring their record to 3-2. The Review-Journal spent the days leading up to the event speaking to soccer and football fans to discover how deep their passion for their teams is and what those overseas know about the NFL. Here's the highlights from our experiences in England. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Josh Jacobs says his goal was to keep the Raiders in the game
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs said his goal was to keep the team in the game after a miscommunication on a play caused a fumble that was recovered by Bears linebacker Khalil Mack. The Raiders won, 24-21. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders upset the Bears in London, improve to 3-2
The Raiders defeated the Bears in London and heads into their bye week breaking .500 on the season. The Raiders will have the opportunity to get healthy before facing the Packers in Green Bay in two weeks. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Victory in London Shows Growth of Young Players - VIDEO
The Raiders win over the Chicago Bears in London was rookie Josh Jacobs' best game this season. Jacobs, Moreau and the other Raiders rookies and second year players received praise from head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr after the game. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Win in London, Beat Bears 24-21 - Video
The Raiders are 3-2 after beating the Bears 24-21 for the team's first win in London. While the Bears were able to overcome a 17-point deficit, the Raiders took advantage of a 4th quarter penalty that set them up for success. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Myles Simmons breakdown the win.
Vegas Nation Gameday Preview from London: Raiders vs. Bears
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney previews the Oakland Raiders vs. the Chicago Bears and gives an update on the team's inactive players from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Soccer fans in London talk about the Premier League, NFL
As the NFL comes to London with the Raiders vs. the Bears, fans at a Premier League game between West Ham United and Crystal Palace talk about their love for the sport they call football and what they've come to learn about the NFL so far. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Vs Bears Preview - Video
The Oakland Raiders will play the Chicago Bears in London on Sunday, and Raiders beat writer Myles Simmons goes over the three things to watch during the game.
Raiders fans in London talk about the team's impending move to Vegas
With the Raiders playing the Bears in London, fans of the team have traveled from near and far to come out and support them. Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney asks fans if they will continue to do so when the Silver and Black moves to Las Vegas. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders fans arrive in London for Bears game - Video
Raiders' fans from near and far traveled out for festivities in London where the team will play the Chicago Bears on Sunday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Raiders LB Khalil Mack talks about facing his old team - Video
Linebacker Khalil Mack was traded to the Chicago Bears by the Raiders in 2018 and will play his former team for the first time since on Sunday, Oct. 6 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Personal seat licenses for Raiders almost sold out - VIDEO
Personal seat license sales (PSL) for the $2 billion 65,000 fan-capacity domed Allegiant Stadium are about 96 percent sold, with the sales process expected to wrap up by Thanksgiving. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Spend $28 Million on new parking areas - VIDEO
The Raiders have spent $28 million on new parking locations on Valley View Boulevard between Reno and Tropicana avenues. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Suspended for Rest of Season - VIDEO
Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts after a helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Jack Doyle. It was announced on Monday that the linebacker would be suspended for the rest of the season. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Head To London 2-2, Beat Colts 31-24 - VIDEO
The Raiders snapped their losing streak beating the Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis. The team heads directly to London to prepare for next weeks game against the Bears. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Johnathan Abram's wife on his "Hard Knocks" appearance
Johnathan Abram's wife thinks her husband was annoying on the first episode of the Raiders on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Raiders Johnathan Abram On Moving to Las Vegas - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram talks about the team moving to Las Vegas and how he is ready to bring his game to the desert in the new Allegiant Stadium.
Raiders Safety Johnathan Abram and Wife Bri'Anna On Being A Football Family - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram and his wife Bri'Anna sit down to talk about being a football family and what it means for their daughter and how it changed their lifestyle.
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
A look at the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson
Don Webb, chief operating officer of the LV Stadium Co., gives the Review-Journal a tour of the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts views Las Vegas stadium as opportunity
MGM Resorts International intends to offer tailgating experiences at its resorts before and after events at Raiders stadium. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Raiders, Rams to hold joint practices in August

The “Hard Knocks” television crew gained more material Monday, as the Raiders finalized their plan to host the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams for a pair of joint practices this summer.

Media preparation part of rookie program for Raiders

Dylan Mabin stood behind a lectern Tuesday on an elevated stage inside the Raiders’ meeting room, scouring over about 20 of his fellow rookies.