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"We'll miss Oakland": Broncos' brass opens up on Raiders' move

Dennis Best Avatar
March 27, 2017


With a 31-1 vote Monday morning during the NFL owners meeting, the Oakland Raiders are no more and will officially become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019.

The relocation will be the third for a professional Football franchise over the course of 15 months (Chargers, Rams) and will make quite the impact for Denver, seeing as they now have to travel to Las Vegas, instead of staying in California for the majority of their divisional road games.

Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis has mixed feelings on the move.

“It’s a tough day for the National Football League and especially the fans of Oakland,” Ellis stated at the NFL owner’s meetings on Monday. “We’ve now had three teams move in the last (15 months), so anytime a team relocates, it’s difficult on their fan base, their community.”

The move will bring “Raider Nation” 500 miles closer to the Mile High City and will have a different feel, this according to general manager John Elway.

“Oakland was always a unique place to go play, and they had a great following there,” Elway said. “But times change, and it’ll be interesting playing in Las Vegas, too. I know the stadium looks beautiful there, so we’re looking forward to that, too, but we’ll miss Oakland.”

This is not the first time Elway has had to deal with this type of situation. As a player, No. 7 played Raiders throughout his career, half in Oakland and half in Los Angeles.

“It’s never easy, having been in this situation when we played in Houston when they were moving to Tennessee; it was a unique situation.”

Elway also went on to express his feelings for long-time Raider faithful.

“It’s tough for the people in Oakland I’m sure to see the team leaving but maybe they will take advantage of the last couple years they have and support them while they are there, but it’s never easy.”

“Everybody loves to go to Vegas, so to have football in Vegas will be new but exciting.” Head coach Vance Joseph said Monday afternoon when asked about the move and the fan base. “You feel bad for the fans they are losing a great franchise but whatever is best for the league.”

The proposed stadium, appropriately named Vegas Stadium, for now, is set to be a 65,000-seat domed stadium located in Paradise, Nevada and will be shared with the UNLV Rebels once it’s set to open in 2020. Oakland will play at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium in 2019 and will last until the dome is finished. The Town of Paradise is a mere 3.1 miles away from the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

“We’ve certainly got a stake in the game; they’re a big rival, and we go there every year and to not go to the Black Hole after two more years will be difficult, just because our players, our fans get to go to the games out there,” Ellis said. “Our organization, we have great respect for the Raiders, and we love the rivalry.”


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