ATHERTON (KPIX 5) – Raiders two-time Super Bowl Champion Jim Plunkett expressed sadness following the NFL vote in Phoenix that approved the Raiders relocation to Las Vegas.
“I don’t particularly want to go to Vegas, but that’s where the franchise is going, so that’s where I’m going,” he said.
Plunkett joined the Raiders in 1978 and is still involved with the franchise as a TV analyst.
“I personally believe the Raiders belong in the Bay Area,” he said with some pause. “The fans deserve a new stadium, and if it can’t be in Oakland, what choices do the Raiders have?”
Plunkett was the Raiders quarterback when owner Al Davis moved the team to Los Angeles in 1982. He remembers a bittersweet feeling after relocating from the Oakland Coliseum to the Los Angeles Coliseum.
“When we got to LA it was like a new franchise – welcomed with open arms,” he said. “It was an exciting time playing in front of a bunch of loyal Raider fans. Hopefully they find that base down there.”
The Raiders are expected to play the 2017 and 2018 seasons at the Oakland Coliseum while the $1.9 billion Las Vegas stadium is under construction. Plunkett thinks Bay Area fans will still support the team during the temporary period because of their loyalty and the Raiders recent success on the field.
“The fans are going to remain. That’s what I’m hoping for.”