By Leighton Ginn
As intriguing as having the Raiders play in Las Vegas could be, former coach Tom Flores said it’s not what he really wants to see.
But Flores said it looks inevitable that the Raiders will be moving to Sin City unless something dramatic happens.
“It’s becoming more and more of a possibility,” Flores said. “I think it’s kind of exciting when you think about it, with all the possibilities there. It would be like a Super Bowl Sunday every home game with all the hotels and the people who come there.
“But the Raiders belong in Oakland. I’ve always said that, I’ll always say that forever because that’s where we started.”
Flores was coaching the Raiders the last time they moved out of Oakland. As a result, Flores became the only coach to win a Super Bowl title in Southern California when the Raiders claimed the 1984 title, adding to his 1981 ring while in Oakland.
A lot has changed in the NFL, and having a good stadium is paramount. With the revenue sharing, franchise earn its own money through luxury boxes and parking. The Raiders have none of those in the O.co Coliseum.
Unless something dramatic happens, it appears the Raiders will leave Oakland again after the 2016 season.
“There’s very little movement, if at all. If there is, it’s not known. It’s hidden very well,” Flores said. “You need to get a new stadium in Oakland because the stadium is falling apart, literally. It’s literally falling apart. It’s not up to standards of the NFL and it’s kind of sad to see. It’s pretty sad to see.”
There had been talk about the Raiders moving to Levi Stadium, which is the home of the San Francisco 49ers, but Flores said he thinks that’s too far away for the Oakland fans.
The Raiders were also discussed to move into the new stadium that’s being built, and has already attracted the Rams from St. Louis.
The San Diego Chargers have the option to move to Los Angeles, and if they turn it down, then the Raiders could be the second tenant.
As successful as the Raiders were in Los Angeles, Flores said that deal will pale in comparison to going to Las Vegas.
“I think every team would like to have its own stadium and control of its own stadium,” Flores said. “I’m sure that’s what the Raiders are looking for in Vegas. But (owner) Mark Davis made it very clear, they would like to stay in Oakland, but they can’t. The league knows it, the rest of the ownership in the NFL, they realize it now. I don’t think there would be much opposition if they do decide to move.
“We were very popular in LA, we won a Super Bowl there. And we’re still very popular there. But I don’t know. I’m not that involved, although I am involved emotionally.”