OAKLAND (KPIX) — It’s the end of an era for Oakland as the Raiders will likely play their last home game at the Coliseum on Sunday. It’s a day many Oaklanders have been dreading.
“It’s a very sad day,” said co-founder and president of Save Oakland Sports, Chris Dobbins. Dobbins has been a season ticket holder for about 25 years, since the Raiders returned from Los Angeles.
“The Raiders are gone. Good luck. Kiss good-bye,” said Oakland councilman Noel Gallo, also a lifelong Raiders fan.
“This is the second time this has happened to our community. It’s absolutely a crime,” said Griz Jones, founder of Forever Oakland.
Jones said he is not ready to give in. He successfully convinced the city of Oakland to sue the NFL. But critics say the lawsuit is a long shot in winning money for the city and keeping the Raiders name in Oakland.
“The people who don’t fight are in denial. The NFL is in denial,” said Jones.
Many Oaklanders say they will stop supporting the Raiders. They feel used and abused.
“I have not come back to the game. I’m not going to watch it on TV. I will not support them in any way,” said councilman Gallo.
But plenty of people do plan to attend the game. Ticketmaster reported the average ticket price for the game is $312. That’s 45 percent higher than any other home game this season.
KPIX caught up with a man who had just flown in from New Jersey looking for tickets.
“Might as well see one game here before they leave. So we flew in last night, will spend the weekend and then leave on Monday after the game,” said Brian Quinn. Quinn said he will continue to support the Raiders no matter where they go.
Three fans who flew in from Phoenix feel the same way. They said it’s hard to see the Raiders leave for Las Vegas but they will continue to follow the team.
“I have never been to a home game in Oakland. I’ve been a fan for over 40 years. It’s the last game, it’s the last game. I just want to see it for myself,” said Venturi McCray from Phoenix. He bought tickets for his wife and himself.
“It’s bitter sweet,” said Martin Gonzales Sr., who was here with his son.
“We’re going to be loyal to the Silver and Black all day. They can go anywhere they want to go. We’re still going to be faithful to the team,” said Martin Gonzales Jr. from Phoenix.
Unlike fans from other parts of the country, those who live in Oakland say they have to side with the city because the Raiders have lost their trust.
“I’m more of an Oakland fan than a Raider fan. So I’m not going to follow the Raiders. I’m signing up for Cal Berkeley season tickets. Cal’s never going to be good but they’re never going to move, so, ‘go Bears!'” Dobbins said.
Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers are still paying millions of dollars for the Coliseum renovation upgrades which brought the Raiders back from Los Angeles in the 1990s.