The Raiders have a long history in Oakland, bearing the city's name from their inception in 1960 to 1981, then returning in 1995 following a stint in Los Angeles.
On Monday, any hopes of a longterm future in the Bay Area were eliminated as NFL owners voted to approve the team's relocation to Las Vegas.
Raiders owner Mark Davis released the following statement, per the team website:
“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness. I would like to thank Commissioner Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment. Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”
The Raiders have long been in search of a new stadium, a problem that will be solved by the move to Las Vegas. With the Chargers relocating to Los Angeles earlier this offseason, the O.Co Coliseum became the undisputed most outdated permanent home in the NFL. The venue opened in 1966, and any talks regarding a new facility had proven futile.
According to NFL Insider Vinny Bonsignore, the team will remain in Oakland for at least the next two seasons. A target date of 2020 has been set for completion on the proposed stadium in Las Vegas.
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