(EDITOR’S NOTE: To access the Tom Flores interview fast-forward to 24:00 of the attached interview: Ep 8: 2021 HOF Semifinalists; 2020 Turkeys; Conversation w/ Tom Flores | The Eye Test for Two | Spreaker)
“I don’t like it,” he said on the latest “Eye Test for Two” podcast.
He’s not alone. Legions of Raiders’ fans don’t, either, but they’re like Flores: Helpless to do anything about it. The Raiders this year moved because the city of Oakland couldn’t build them a new stadium, and Las Vegas not only could … but did.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean Raider Nation … or Hall-of-Fame finalist Tom Flores … has to like it.
“I still feel funny,” Flores said, “because they belong in Oakland. I’ve said that all along, and no disrespect to Las Vegas. I said that when we went to L.A. I said that when we came back to Oakland. And I’ll say it now: They belong in Oakland because that’s where it started. And that’s where I started 60 years ago in Santa Cruz, Cal, where we had our training camp. It just didn’t work out.”
It didn’t work out because the Raiders and Oakland couldn’t complete a deal for a new stadium. So, after team owner Mark Davis spent years trying to renovate or replace the Oakland Coliseum, NFL owners in 2017 approved the move to Las Vegas by a 31-1 vote. However, the Raiders didn’t move until this season when construction on Allegiant Stadium was completed.
“Oakland just didn’t have the resources to keep them,” said Flores. “You look at the stadium that they’ve built now … I mean the whole game, the dynamics around it have changed dramatically. It’s just incredible.”