The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas means most of the team and front office will need to relocate.
That’s an advantage of getting a team already in existence. The Golden Knights had to start from scratch, but there is something to be said for that as well because it was Las Vegas’ team from the beginning.
But the Raiders’ organization will need to make some new hires, and they would be smart to look to Las Vegans to fill a lot of those roles.
Here are some immediate hires the club should consider:
1. MOVING COMPANY
The Raiders should call the Indianapolis Colts and find out who they used at Mayflower when they left Baltimore under the cover of darkness. Fortunately, the Raiders aren’t hiding their desire to move, but just in case, book an early morning time. Leaving the Bay Area is still not a popular move in Oakland.
They should definitely be local hires. Get real estate agents who know the Las Vegas Valley from Summerlin to Green Valley and understand which gated communities and school zones are most desirable.
3. MARKETING ASSISTANT
Few teams in any sport possess as recognizable a logo as the Raiders, but that alone doesn’t mean Las Vegans will line up for tickets. This is a unique market, and it takes a local who understands the landscape to help the Raiders make the impact they desire.
4. FOUNDATION DIRECTOR
Another good way to make a strong early impression is to hire someone locally to run the Raiders Foundation, a nonprofit. Someone with local fundraising and media contacts can help the Raiders spread goodwill throughout the community.
The Raiders will need to find trained personnel to provide protection at practices and on game days. This isn’t a shot at the Raiders’ rabid fans. All teams need to make their fans feel welcome and safe. Nothing worse than taking your family to a game, only to be stuck next to a loud foul-mouth fan who got trashed in the tailgate.
This is to please the bigwigs who buy suites, providing much of the cash for pricey free agents who can be the difference between a legitimate Super Bowl contender and the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. And, while they’re at it, make sure the media meal consists of more than hot dogs. Trade-outs with area restaurants would be nice. Just call UNLV football on that one.
The game-day experience can’t be about just the 1-percenters. Friendly ushers can make a major difference in how fans enjoy themselves, and they often are the first ones who sense when a negative situation arises.
8. CONCESSIONS DIRECTOR
The modern stadium has changed. People expect a variety of food and at a much higher quality than just a few years ago. Yes, many fans will be full from the tailgates, but plenty of hungry people will still come through the gates. Make sure they have choices.
9. PARKING ATTENDANTS
A well-organized plan for directing vehicles on and off stadium property can make the difference on whether some fans return, especially those going there for the first time. It’s maddening to drive around and not know what direction to go or where to park (we’re talking to you, Aloha Stadium in Honolulu). Make sure the parking plan is publicized in advance and that attendants know the location of every lot.
These folks handle the game-day statistics, an even more vital job now that fans can access just about any stat immediately. Make sure the stat crew knows that unless the football is touching or aligned with a hash mark, it’s considered on the next yard line. Well, almost always. Depends on the yards needed for a first down. But these are important details.
Contact Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.