January 23, 2020 By: Matt Gutierrez
On Wednesday afternoon, the Raiders announced their official name change from the Oakland Raiders to the Las Vegas Raiders. They even changed their Twitter page, so you know it’s serious.
The name change was obviously not a surprise to anyone as the move has been official since March 27, 2017. The announcement was more about the ceremonious new beginning for the franchise. The Raiders have never had a stadium they could call their own, and even though UNLV will play their games at the new Allegiant Stadium (on a separate synthetic turf field), make no mistake, this is the Raiders stadium.
Several players were on hand to be a part of the event including QB, Derek Carr. Carr spoke to media for several minutes following the announcement. He seemed relieved that he’s finally able to speak openly about Las Vegas.
Carr: “We can just talk about it now, you know. Because it’s a reality. It’s something that’s actually happening.”
Carr’s favorite target during the 2019 season, TE, Darren Waller was also in attendance. 2019 was Waller’s one and only season in Oakland, but he learned quickly why the Raider Nation has such an amazing reputation when it comes to being a passionate fan base.
Waller: “It’s still the same people. It’s all one heart. Everyone’s connected, and I feel like those people that’ll be coming over, or if it’s new fans, the same Raider Nation, that same energy will be consistent and we’ll feed off it like we always have.”
Mark Davis was all smiles during the event. He talked about how much he enjoys the Las Vegas community, and mentioned his love for the Las Vegas Aces and the Vegas Golden Knights. If you’ve ever been to a game for either of those teams, chances are you have seen Mr. Davis in attendance sitting court side, or on the glass.
On Tuesday, the NFL announced their plans for the upcoming draft being held in Las Vegas. Mark Davis said that will be everyone’s first chance to acquire official Las Vegas Raiders merchandise.
There is still plenty of work yet to be done. The Stadium is at about 80% completion, and the team facility in Henderson, NV is coming along as well.
All in all it was a day of celebration. The Raiders are getting a new city with a shiny new stadium, and Las Vegas is getting the NFL. Win, win.