Mark Davis Gave Raiders Fans More Hope at Forum


Mark Davis actually appeared at the NFL’s public forum on Thursday to talk about the Oakland Raiders possible relocation. In front of a crowd of fans that looked as if they came straight from a Raiders game, Davis asserted that staying in Oakland is the number one priority. He’s been saying that since the beginning of 2015, but other gears are moving for a possible stadium deal in Los Angeles with the Chargers.

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Despite relocation rumors, Mark Davis keeps boosting hopes of Raiders fans. However, the words and actions of the Raiders don’t seem to match. According to this ESPN article, the Raiders have offices set up in LA in preparation for a stadium deal there. There are a few possible explanations for this inconsistency between saying they will stay and actually doing it.

Perhaps the Raiders are using LA as leverage to pressure Oakland officials into helping the team stay. Oakland has asserted numerous times that public funds won’t be used to finance a new stadium in the East Bay. Here lies the main issue of this matter — the Raiders still haven’t found out how to fund the remaining $500 million to build a new stadium in Oakland.

However, it’s unlikely that the Raiders are just using LA as leverage. It’s highly possible that Mark Davis and the Raiders simply want to have a solid backup plan if staying in Oakland doesn’t work. It’s almost as if this stadium saga for the Raiders is part of a sitcom with a “will-they-won’t-they” couple. Hopefully, Oakland actually is the organization’s number one choice and not the true backup plan.

The Raiders’ stadium situation is as opaque as the fog that regularly covers the Bay Area. 2015 has been a year of resurgence for the football team, but it has also been worrisome for fans who want and need this team to stay in Oakland. The Raiders belong in the East Bay. LA didn’t work once already, and it certainly won’t be a good fit now.

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Oakland can be a rough city, but it’s one of those places where the team matches the people perfectly. Once people get to know Oakland and the Raiders, they learn how much pride, respect, and enthusiasm meshes between the players and the citizens of this city.

Frankly speaking, Mark Davis would be a fool if he actually moves the team away from Oakland. Everybody knows that the Coliseum isn’t perfect. Some people would even say it’s one of the worst professional sports venues in the country.

However, nobody can deny the strong sense of community that the city of Oakland creates around the Raiders. It’s not like the stadium is empty for each Raiders home game. Games in the Black Hole are always packed with fans dressed in the iconic and intense Silver and Black.

The forum on Thursday was held at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland. It’s something required by the NFL for team relocation inquiries, but Raiders fans didn’t take this opportunity lightly. Reports from the Bay Area showed fans spreading their passion and pride for their team inside and outside the forum.

Fans surprisingly gave Mark Davis a standing ovation even though he hasn’t provided any clear plans to stay.

He was likely well received due to the hope he continues to inspire throughout Raider Nation. Obviously, no solutions were presented at the forum, but something positive definitely came from it. Fans got a chance to speak directly with Mark Davis and NFL executives about their burning desire to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

There shouldn’t even be consideration of better market opportunities in LA. Any business journal would agree that Oakland will continue to display economic growth over the next decade. The Raiders are an iconic NFL team, and the city of Oakland created the team’s legacy.

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This team certainly deserves a better stadium than the one they currently have, and it should be in Oakland. In the spirit of a public forum, share what you feel about the stadium situation in the comments. Raiders fans in Oakland have a voice that the NFL must respect.