When you think of the NFL’s Raiders, what comes to mind?
The Black Hole, where Raiders fans put on scary outfits meant to shock and intimidate?
The “just win, baby” mantra that defined longtime owner Al Davis?
Their reputation for breaking the rules and scoffing at authority?
You probably don’t think “family-friendly” when you think of the silver and black but they’re apparently hoping you’ll change your mind when the franchise moves to Las Vegas in a few years.
Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, LV Stadium Company chief operating officer Don Webb recently spoke at a breakfast panel where he shared his hopes on a happy, shiny Raiders fan base.
“We like the deeply passionate fans. But we want the stadium to be not only a safe environment, but we want it to be perceived as a family-friendly environment. So I think there will be some changes, frankly, to the fan base when the team moves to Las Vegas and the method of operating the stadium. I think I’ll leave it there, but the team ownership and team management is very keen on projecting the right image when this team comes to Las Vegas.”
First of all, that’s a pretty shoddy implication about the Raiders fan base. While their reputation for theatrics is well-earned, they’re ultimately no rowdier than any other NFL fan base (except maybe the Eagles fans, who are worse). Fans are fans, whether they’re in Oakland, Miami, or Las Vegas. While there are certainly fans in Oakland who are loud and rowdy, plenty more who pack the Oakland Coliseum are just regular folks, many of whom are parts of families (gasp!).
And to say that “there will be some changes…to the fan base” almost sounds like a threat. What is the “right” image? Will costumes like those worn in the Black Hole be banned? Will fans be turned away if you don’t approve of their facepaint? Will certain “types” of fans be discouraged from attending games?
Also, since when does someone from Las Vegas get to stand on a high horse and tell anyone else they need to be family friendly? Take a look around your city that is literally built on gambling and maybe think twice before you present yours as the bastion of morality.
The Raiders are hoping to start playing in Las Vegas by 2019 or 2020, so all you terrible Raiders fans better get a haircut between now and then. And start a family, just in case…