OAKLAND (KPIX) — For Raiders fans, the Coliseum is a treasure chest of memories. From the tailgating parties to the daunting Black Hole, the curtain will most likely close on this chapter of Raiders history on Sunday.
Raider Nation has a special relationship with its team and the heart of that relationship sits at the end zone known as the Black Hole.
Rob Rivera, one of the co-founders of the Black Hole said, “It’s heartache. Every fabric of what I do on a daily basis has something to do with the Black Hole.”
In 1994, Rivera and a group of five friends from Hayward — eagerly anticipating the return of the Raiders to Oakland — came up with the idea of the Black Hole. Unfortunately, one of the founders, Dave Mazo, didn’t live to see the Raiders final season in Oakland.
Rivera said, “That’s been a big void for us going into our last season. We were hoping he would make it to the end but unfortunately he didn’t.”
The Black Hole has carried on its long-standing tradition of being one of the most vocal and intimidating fan groups in the NFL. But it’s a fan base that’s hurting from the biggest loss in Raiders franchise history: losing the team itself to Las Vegas.
Rivera added, “We’re crushed, we’re emotionally just drained. We’re hurt and we’re pissed. We’re upset that this has happened to us. No fan base that has been this loyal to a team should be left in the cold like we’ve been left in the cold.”
Fans of the Silver and Black are willing to bet that the intensity of the infamous Black Hole will not be replicated in Vegas.
Robert Reyes, a Raiders fan from Texas said, “the Black Hole represents! It’s not just a representation of the team, it’s a family representation.”
LuAnn Wittkopp, a Raiders fan from Buffalo added, “The first year we were here we sat in the Black Hole. What was that like? A riot!”
The Raiders haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but Sunday will most likely be the final game in Oakland.
Rivera hopes to keep the Black Hole alive but he’s not exactly sure how, once this team moves to Las Vegas.