We should say right up front, we are not a sports person. You might say we are to sports as the Amish are to vibrators.
However, the nation is atwitter (especially on Twitter, ironically) with news the Oakland Raiders will relocate to Las Vegas after getting a 31-1 vote from NFL team owners.
The sole hold-out in the vote was the Miami Dolphins. In time, the Dolphins will be viewed as either as clueless buzzkills or that Chinese guy who, armed with nothing more than shopping bags, stood before a row of tanks in defiance of tyranny in Tiananmen Square.
In any event, it appears the Las Vegas Raiders are destined to be a thing.
Typically, this would be where we rattle off a litany of reasons this is a horrible turn of events, but we’ve decided to just go along with the jubilation instead.
No matter the claims of naysayers, they’re far outweighed by the fact a Raiders relocation has inspired a Pirate’s Booty Sports Brothel. We are not making this up.
The NFL vote sets a number of things in motion, including building a $1.9 billion domed stadium near the Las Vegas Strip (at Russell Road and Interstate 15, to be specific), but the Raiders will probably play in Oakland for two more seasons. Unless, that is, butt-hurt Oakland gives the Raiders the boot, a distinct possibility.
Whatever the specific timeline for the move, Las Vegas football fans are ecstatic about the Raiders move to Sin City. Optimists have suggested an NFL team in Las Vegas will pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.
Critics think that assertion is what economists refer to as “hooey,” but again, now is the time to celebrate, not critic. Assuming that’s a verb. Please keep your eye on the ball. See? We can sport with the best of them.
We’re going to set aside the fact the new, 65,000-seat Raiders stadium is being funded with $750 million in public money (some peg that contribution closer to a billion when all is said and done). That’s pocket change in Las Vegas!
Besides, who needs education or public transportation when you can have tailgate parties, cheerleaders and traumatic brain injuries?
While the Raiders won’t be the first professional sports team in Las Vegas, that distinction will be held by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, there’s an undeniable cache to snagging a pro football team.
Las Vegas wasn’t founded on ridiculous notions like “financial viability.” It was founded on optimism and big dreams.
For many, the Raiders moving to Las Vegas is a dream come true.