Oakland Raiders fan and community groups are continuing their effort to mobilize fans of all 32 National Football League (NFL) teams to urge owners to keep the team in Oakland where it has benefitted from legendary loyalty and support for more than four decades.
A coalition of fan groups, including SaveOaklandSports, the Oakland Raiders Booster Club, Stay In Oakland, The Oakland Economic Impact and Legal Action Committee and FanFairness.org are asking fans of all 32 NFL teams for help.
The coalitions’ request is part of their ongoing effort to ask all fans to email or call their respective team owners to say no to the Raiders’ attempt to abandon Oakland for the second time.
In addition, fans across the U.S. can also sign a petition against the move.
Fans across the U.S. and some in other countries have signed the petition which also outlines why the Raiders do not meet the NFL’s written guidelines for relocation – specifically that the team has great support and has not exhausted all options in the Oakland market.
“We respectfully ask fans to consider how they would feel if their team planned to move despite receiving many years of loyalty,” said Jim Zelinski, co-founder of SaveOaklandSports.
“The Raiders plan to abandon Oakland – again – and we hope fans in all sports and community leaders across the U.S. will join us and make clear to owners that they believe keeping the Raiders is in the best interest of all stakeholders including the NFL. The parade of relocations must stop; it will serve only to erode fan loyalty and weaken the NFL.”
The NFL’s major advertising slogan is “Football is Family.” “We hope that the NFL will uphold that principle because the Oakland fan base truly treats its team like family,” added Zelinski.
“The Oakland Raiders fan base is known for its unrelenting support,” said John Lupo who founded Stay In Oakland. “I believe, however, that approving relocation will not be in in the best interest of the team or league. There is a point when the fans will no longer financially support the organization and the league needs to be aware of this.”
NFL owners at their meetings March 26-29 may vote on whether to allow the iconic Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas. The Oakland proposal by the Fortress Group including NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott and the stadium site in Oakland are clearly superior to Las Vegas. The money, land, infrastructure and an irreplaceable fan base are all in place in Oakland, which should be considered the favorite to retain the team if all financial factors are objectively considered.
The Raiders abandoned their OAKLAND fans – despite nationally known unrivalled support – the first time in 1982. The Raiders came “home” in 1995 to Oakland/Alameda County, which put up $200 million to renovate the Coliseum and fund for a new practice facility.