Dialing up the moving vans is nothing new for the Oakland Raiders.
The franchise had previously relocated to Los Angeles after an epic and acrimonious 1982 legal battle between legendary NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle and the equally legendary renegade Raiders owner Al Davis.
Davis won and the black and silver moved south.
The badasses of the sporting world spent over a decade in LA before returning home in 1992 to the raucous confines of the infamous Black Hole and an enthusiastic fan base who were never quite rewarded with a return to the glory years.
Now despite a team that is on the brink of a prolonged period of contention if not outright dominance, the loyal fans of Oakland have been jammed once again.
On Monday the league officially approved the relocation of the Raiders to Las Vegas.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 27, 2017
CBS Sports is reporting “Raiders heading to Las Vegas after NFL owners vote 31-1 in favor of move”:
The Raiders are on the move — again — after NFL owners approved the franchise’s relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports the NFL owners approved the Raiders move to Las Vegas with a whopping 31-1 vote, with the Miami Dolphins being the only team that voted against the Raiders move. The Raiders needed 24 of 32 votes and easily cleared the hurdle.
The expectation for the Raiders is they will play two more seasons in Oakland, which Oakland confirmed in a statement released by the team. The 2019 season is a major question mark. The Raiders could play in Oakland for a third year, but could also play at UNLV’s stadium as well.
“We never want to see a relocation of a franchise,” Roger Goodell said. “We needed to provide certainty and stability for the Raiders, as well as for the league.”
The team celebrated the move on Twitter:
The Raiders are coming.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) March 27, 2017
The decision marks the league’s third franchise relocation approval in two years. The St. Louis Rams returned to Los Angeles last year and the San Diego Chargers did the same starting in 2017 where they had their roots in the old American Football League.
The move won’t actually take place until the 2019 season which will at least give the long-suffering fans of Oakland one last chance at a championship because the young Raiders are ready to take a run at the reigning champion New England Patriots in the AFC.
It all comes down to money and big stadium politics, Vegas upped the ante on whatever it was that the bay area was able to scrape together and will now join the NHL’s expansion team the Las Vegas Golden Knights as Sin City’s second pro sports franchise.
You can probably call this one a JACKPOT for Vegas.