As Mark Davis tries to “unite” the Raider fan base with a move to Las Vegas to get himself a shiny toy that he could only dream of paying for on a multi-year layaway plan, we look deep into the negative myths of what could be the Las Vegas Raiders.
- “The city of Las Vegas can’t support an NFL team”. As with everything, the answer lays somewhere in the middle ground. Of course the city of Las Vegas can support an NFL team, there is smaller cities and less affluent areas in the country currently supporting pro sports. The answer is what level of support they can provide. Will it be elite, lifetime season ticket lists like the Packers? Of course not. Will it be bottom of the barrel, only if you’re really good support like the 49ers or Chargers? Nope, will be better than that. Anyone who has ever lived in Las Vegas knows it is a Raiders/Cowboys town, and they will certainly be drawing and depending on some California Raider fan support, especially from Los Angeles. The Las Vegas Sands people expected about 27% of their stadium attendance to be out-of-towners, a dynamic that is exclusive to a resort/vacation destination like Las Vegas.
- “The median income is much less then Oakland”. Of course it is. So is 99.95% of the rest of the cities in the country. When you examine the average income of Las Vegas, 3 things have to be remembered.
- First, Las Vegas is dirt cheap to live in. Everything is dramatically cheaper than California, especially rent/mortgage payments. Gas is cheaper. Groceries are cheaper. Registering your car costs a fraction that it does in CA. Across the board savings.
- Second, there is no state income tax in Nevada. That bridges the gap somewhere from 7-13%, depending on your income.
- Third, (and maybe most important), when you are looking at the IRS reported income levels in Las Vegas, that is reported wages and earnings. That $150 a day in tips the Valet guy makes, isn’t all reported. That nightclub waitress doesn’t make 38K a year. You can put a one in front of it. The Gaming industry is the largest industry in the state, and many of those employee’s leave every day with a few hundred bucks in non-reported, non-taxed cash, everyday. All that adds up to someone “making” 50K a year in Vegas often will have more disposable income then someone making 75K living in Oakland/Bay Area.
- “There will no home field advantage”. Fear mongering at its finest. You hear people say that “every opposing fan will circle Las Vegas as the 1 road game they want to go to” as if every Cincinnati Bengals fan is a fist pumping bro that is going to hit the game after doing some curls and going to a Sunday morning pool party. Newsflash: Some people, really don’t like Las Vegas. Many family oriented NFL fans are not interested in a road game in Vegas. Will there be more opposing fans then currently in Oakland, if they move to Las Vegas? Absolutely. But how much more? And most importantly, the current Raider stadium only holds 53-54K fans, of which not all are Raider fans. In a 65K stadium in Las Vegas, there will be both more opposing fans AND more Raider fans. Math is our friend. You also will hear that casino’s will be given out tickets to out of town fans like buffet passes or something. Another newsflash: Casino’s are not in the business of spending money to send their clients off property. Las Vegas Sands will have some tickets (they have their hand in the Stadium revenue pot) to give out. MGM, Wynn, Caesars, Harrah’s entertainment…….maybe they will give out 25-50 or so for each game to some whales they are catering to. Big whup. What each casino will do is what they continue to do, host viewing parties ON THEIR PROPERTY to cater to those fans.
The biggest obstacle in Mark’s way for his permanent Vegas vacation, has always been the owners vote. Nevada has done its part, the owners will have their say in the next few months. Whether Raiders are granted relocation is up in the air, but the debate of whether Las Vegas can support an NFL team should not be in doubt. It’s as obvious as splitting tens with a 6 showing (wait, do you do that…….?)
Written by: Just Fire Baby (JFB)