Raiders move out of shadows with Las Vegas transition

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders have worn loose-fitting clothes over the subject of their Las Vegas relocation for months, careful not to flaunt their progress and further distress the Bay Area market in which they reside.

Top officials have seldom granted interviews. Certain plans were kept hush-hush.

This is what makes now so significant.

The Raiders’ plans are showing, their deliberately quiet work in Las Vegas stepping onto a more visible stage. The switch was signaled Monday at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Russell Road stadium site that provided not only symbolic images of team-themed shovels in Las Vegas dirt — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Raiders owner Mark Davis and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dug together — but also important comments afterward.

Team president Marc Badain, who had previously declined an interview on the topic, was ready Monday evening to detail the Raiders’ growing presence in Las Vegas. The stadium is due by July 31, 2020.

“We have, between ourselves and a firm called Legends that’s working for us in sales, I believe up to 35 employees already here,” Badain said. “Some (team employees) have moved from the Bay Area here. Some we hired from Nevada, and they’re bringing more to work in the sales center in the next two to three years.

“We have boots on the ground. We have office space. We’ve got a sales center we’re building now. We’ve got retail stores, so we’re getting here.”

Signs around Las Vegas

Before this month, there was no video of the stadium construction site streaming live on the Raiders’ official website. There is now. On the site’s home page, a link to access those images appears prominently above a continued offer to purchase a $100 deposit for a personal seat license in Las Vegas.

Before this month, where the organization was targeting for its practice facility location was a secret — “probably the worst kept” one, Badain says. Discussions with Henderson are now confirmed to be ongoing for a 55-acre site near Henderson Executive Airport.

And before this month, the franchise had nine Raider Image official team stores. There is now a 10th — the first Nevada location opened Nov. 8 in Town Square Las Vegas. An 11th, based at the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, is in development.

In April, the franchise unveiled at its stadium site a billboard that read “The Raiders are coming” in bold, capital white letters against a black backdrop. Here in November, more than any prior month, this declaration is coming to life in Southern Nevada. And this trend figures only to continue when construction sounds arrive at full volume.

“We’re just fortunate that, how everything played out, that we’re coming to Las Vegas and we’re coming here to Nevada,” Davis said Monday. “With the people that we’re working with here, you couldn’t find anything better. We’re very thankful how things worked out in that respect.”

Little change in Oakland

Meanwhile, life remains fairly status quo in the Bay Area.

At team headquarters in Alameda, California, any locker-room chatter among players regarding Las Vegas usually relates to the scheduled 2020 relocation being so distant or how nice its financial perks would be. California enforces the highest state income tax rate in the country at 13.3 percent. In Nevada, there is no state income tax. Players notice.

Of the 53 players on the roster, only five veterans and seven members of the rookie draft class are under contract through the 2020 season. Most who take the field Sunday against the New England Patriots in Mexico City almost certainly won’t be on the roster when the franchise moves. A stadium eventually springing out of desert dirt carries little reason for extensive group discussion.

Right guard Gabe Jackson should be affected. He signed a five-year, $56.8 extension in early July, keeping him under contract through the 2022 season.

Still, he said, he isn’t looking too far ahead and has yet to peruse the housing market in the Las Vegas area.

“Not yet,” Jackson said. “I haven’t even thought about it yet. Whenever they say we’re moving up there, around that time, I’ll start doing so.”

Off the field, the organization is playing in multiple arenas. The team provided black T-shirts to all its players in October following the Strip shooting. A heart-shaped logo is printed on the shirt’s front-left chest area. On the back, “#vegasstrong’’ appears in white letters. All players wore a helmet decal with the heart-shaped logo for an Oct. 8 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

On Oct. 10, Davis flew to Las Vegas to attend the Golden Knights’ home opener.

On Oct. 15, he flew 30 first responders from Las Vegas to Oakland for a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The police officers, firefighters and dispatchers met the likes of Davis, coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr on the field before the game. They watched the entire game from field-level seating at one of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum’s two baseball dugouts. Shortly following the shooting, Davis and the NFL combined to donate $150,000 to victims and other relief efforts.

Some of the team’s draft picks on April 29 were announced at the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

Hiring underway

Today, multiple postings for Las Vegas-based positions appear on the Raiders’ job board.

One in the Community Relations and Public Affairs Department seeks Raiders ambassadors who can represent the franchise at “all events, fan festivals and youth football clinics” while demonstrating skills such as “exemplary customer service.” Another is for a youth football manager who can “organize and execute all youth football events, health and fitness programs, and provide administrative and staff support to the Community Relations department in Southern Nevada.”

As Badain referenced, the team has partnered with Legends Hospitality LLC, a high-powered firm whose website lists Yankee Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers and Manchester City FC among its clientele.

Legends is hiring a suite sales manager for the “Las Vegas Raiders.” Responsibilities include selling “multi-year suite agreements to C-Level executives and/or key decision makers of corporations, high net worth individuals via outbound sales calls, face-to-face appointments and presentations.”

“Through the whole process,” Davis said, “it’s been a balancing act, so to speak, of trying to enjoy the fact we’re going to be moving to Las Vegas but not disrespecting the fans in Oakland. They’re very, very dear to us, very important to us. And so that’s been the toughest thing. We’re still the Oakland Raiders right now. My goal is to try to bring us a championship while we’re still playing in Oakland in 2018 and, if things work out, 2019 as well.

“But this is really a (significant time) for the Raiders organization and Raider Nation as a whole. We’ve looked for a home for many, many, many, many years. Now we’ve got something that we’re all going to be proud of.”

As time progresses and the stadium is built, the Raiders’ relocation will move further into the forefront of all aspects tied to the organization.

Here in November, it’s begun.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Smooth sailing after last meeting
Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and Bill Bradley talk about the latest storylines about the Las Vegas Stadium, including the Community Benefits Plan and the UNLV Joint-Use Agreement.
Vegas Nation: Obi Melifonwu's season comes to an end
Review-Journal reporter Michael Gehlken gives an update on Obi Melifonwu, Gareon Conley, Amari Cooper.
Vegas Nation Red Zone: Raiders vs. Cowboys matchup
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Gilbert Manzano discuss the Raiders’ matchup on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Vegas Nation: Fadol Brown Might Leave The Raiders
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal Raiders beat writer Micheal Gehlken go over Fadol Brown potentially leaving the Raiders and Todd Downing on how the Raiders played against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Stadium Authority talks community benefits plan at meeting
Rick Velotta recaps the Stadium Authority meeting at UNLV, including the Land Dedication Agreement and a Non-Relocation Agreement.
Vegas Nation: Cory James Put On Injured Reserve
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over how Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr are taking the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the Raiders extensive list of injuries.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Feel Pressure After Loss To Chiefs Without Mention
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over how the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is affecting the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall flat against Chiefs
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, columnist Ron Kantowski and reporters Michael Gehlken and Gilbert Manzano talk about the Raiders' disappointing effort against the Chiefs as well as what the loss means for the team's playoff hopes for the rest of the season.
Nacion Vegas: Las esperanzas de los Raiders en los playoffs cuelga de un hilo
Los Raiders pusieron un huevo. Fue ese tipo de día para el Plata y el Negro. Las esperanzas de los Raiders en los playoffs cuelga de un hilo después de perder ante los Chiefs 26-15 el domingo.
Vegas Nation: Amari Cooper Returns To Practice
Review-Journal reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Amari Cooper returning to practice Friday and how Jon Feliciano missing Sunday's game effects the team.
Vegas Nation Red Zone: Raiders and Chiefs battle for 1st Place in AFC West
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Gilbert Manzano discuss the Raiders’ matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders are tied for first place in the AFC West.
Vegas Nation: Raiders defense focused on Tyreek Hill
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders defensive focus as well as an update on Amari Cooper's health heading into this weekend's game.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Have 10-man Injury Report
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders injury report and Chiefs' Quarterback Marcus Peters suspension for throwing a referee's flag.
Vegas Nation: Raiders face division rival Chiefs on Sunday
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken discuss the Raiders matchup on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Del Rio on why Marshawn Lynch has an extra "pep in his step"
Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio explains why he thinks running back Marshawn Lynch is playing on another level right now.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Beat The Giants
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken, Gilbert Manzano and Ed Graney recap tonights game against the New York Giants. The Raiders now have a chance at the playoffs and are tied for first place in the AFC west division.
Nación Vegas: Raiders derrotaron a los Giants 24-17
No fue lindo, pero los Raiders se hicieron cargo el domingo para mantener vivas sus esperanzas de llegar a los playoffs. Los Raiders derrotaron a los Giants por 24-17 en casa, y ahora están empatados con los Chiefs y Chargers por el primer lugar en la división Oeste de la AFC.
Vegas Nation: Jackson receives fine, Cooper ruled out
Review-Journal reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Gabe Jackson's fine as well as the injury statuses of David Amerson and Amari Cooper.
Vegas Nation Red Zone: Raiders or Giants?
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Gilbert Manzano make their picks for Sunday's Raiders vs. Giants game.
Vegas Nation: Raiders participate in My Cause, My Cleats
Review-Journal Vegas Nation Bryan Salmond and reporter Michael Gehlken talk about how John Pagano is preparing for the Giants quarterback and the Raiders participating in My Cause, My Cleats this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: VSIN's Brent Musburger on soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond talks to Vegas Sports Information Network host Brent Musburger about the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas, how the sports betting aspect could impact the team and what fans should expect going forward.
Vegas Nation: Raiders prepare for Giants without Crabtree
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders preparing to face a Giants team without Eli Manning, and how Michael Crabtree’s one game suspension will affect the game.
Vegas Nation: Crabtree wins appeal
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about Michael Crabtree winning his appeal to a two-game suspension as well as what the Raiders receiving corps look like heading into their game against the New York Giants.
Vegas Nation: Raiders beat Broncos in eventful game
Bryan Salmond, Gilbert Manzano, Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders win over the Broncos, including Michael Crabtree's fight with Aqib Talib, the team's first interception and the team's hopes in the AFC West race.
Raiders' coach addresses skirmish, Cooper injury after win over Denver
Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio addressed the team's home win over the Denver Broncos, wide receiver Michael Crabtree's altercation with Broncos cornerback Aquib Talib and Amari Cooper's injury at the post game news conference.
How the Raiders plan to balance their fan base in Oakland and Las Vegas
At the Oakland Raiders groundbreaking ceremony in Las Vegas the team president and owner discussed how they will balance their fan base until they move and how they're planning to deal with any issues they could encounter with the stadium construction.
Raiders remember Las Vegas shooting victims at groundbreaking
During the Oakland Raiders groundbreaking ceremony in Las Vegas, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke about how important it was to pay tribute to Las Vegas shooting victims at the event.
Raiders break ground on Las Vegas stadium site
The Raiders hosted a ground breaking ceremony at the Las Vegas stadium site near the Strip. Elaine Wilson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Vegas Nation: Nacion Vegas: The Raiders lose 16-10 against the Broncos
Era una noche fea para los Raiders quien perdió el juego 16-10 en contra los Denver Broncos.
Nashville paints a picture for what Las Vegas could experience as a pro sports town
Floyd Reese, the general manager of the Tennessee Titans when they embarked on their move from Houston to Nashville, and the president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., Butch Spyridon, discuss how the city of Nashville transformed into a professional sports town.
Raiders fans in Nashville weigh in on the team's move
Ahead of the first Oakland Raiders game of the season in Nashville, Tenn., fans of the team from near and far gave their opinions on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas and whether or not they'd continue to support them.
Raiders reportedly negotiating to play in Oakland through 2020 season
The Raiders are reportedly negotiating to play in Oakland through the 2020 season. The Raiders currently have an agreement to play at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum through 2018. SFGate reports that Raiders President Marc Badain has been discussing extending the team’s lease with the coliseum authority. That doesn’t worry Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. He thinks they're just trying to be cautious. Contractors say they are confident they can finish a new Las Vegas stadium in 31 months. Sisolak says the project is still on target to be complete by 2020.
Construction comes to life at Raiders Stadium site in Las Vegas
Construction activity is coming to life at the Raiders Stadium site in Las Vegas. Heavy vehicles, cranes and water trucks were visible at the site at Russell Road and Dean Martin Drive, just west of Interstate 15. A formal groundbreaking for the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium is expected in late November. Plans indicate the stadium will be 225 feet tall with 10 levels. It is also expected to gave a see-through video wall.
TOP NEWS
ad-infeed_1x2_1
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like