OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Fans celebrated the Oakland Raiders victory against the Denver Broncos with mixed feelings and heavy hearts Monday night.
“First of all, I was excited for Vegas, but now the day has come and I’m not, I’m not ready to let go,” said Raiders fan Erasmo Rivera of Stockton.
Rivera is having a hard time accepting the ultimate fate of the Raiders. The team’s days in Oakland are numbered, but the possible last hurrah at the Oakland Coliseum came a year early to most fans.
“60 years of history, they cannot get rid of the Raiders, no,” he added.
Loyalty to the Silver and Black runs deep in Oakland — the city has been the home of Raiders for 40 of their 59 NFL seasons.
After the stadium lights went dark Monday, the uncertainly continued to grow over where the Raiders will play the 2019 season while construction on their brand new stadium in Las Vegas is being completed.
Staying in Oakland seems unlikely given the city sued the team and the NFL earlier this month. The federal lawsuit alleges that the parties violated antitrust laws by boycotting Oakland as a host city.
“I really don’t care about that, all I know is I’ll be driving to Vegas and they can play in Iraq, and I’d still be a Raider fan. It does not matter where they go,” said fan George Luna of Hollister.
Rumored cities for 2019 include London, San Diego, Santa Clara, and AT&T Park in San Francisco.
“I’ve been coming out here since 95, since the Raiders came back to Oakland, so I’ll always be an Oakland Raider fan, but I don’t know if I can be a Las Vegas Raider fan. After this I’m kind of hurt,” said Eric Richardson.
The lawsuit will not try to keep the team in the city, but does seek the maximum amount of monetary damages.
It has been a long goodbye for fans, some more accepting than others.
“We’re here in the rain and it’s not a bright day to be here as a Raiders fan, and we’re still supporting strong,” said Talley McSwain.
The Raiders haven’t had the most remarkable season, but Monday’s game is a memorable and emotional one for all the fans.