Zennie Abraham was invited to a special party event at CES Las Vegas hosted by the Oakland Raiders and starring Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis and Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, with Raiders Legend Howie Long as master of ceremonies.
The party was for potential sponsors and season ticket and luxury suite buyers. The room was mostly populated by the team of people who work for the Las Vegas Raiders in related capacities to those persons who were invited.
Only a small bit of Oakland Raiders or Raiders-affiliated people were there: Davis, Raiders President Marc Badain, Howie Long, and myself: the rest were Las Vegas Raiders people.
But it was Jerry Jones who just plain lit up the party with his stories and tales and frequent use of colorful language. Jones said that in relocating the Raiders to Las Vegas, Mark Davis surpassed his father Al Davis. “You did something your Daddy couldn’t do,” said Jones.
For his part, Davis did not mention where the team would play or the lawsuit. But he said repeat that they tried in Oakland and couldn’t get it done. Davis then turned to the advantages of Las Vegas when he said, pointing to the brightly lit skyline below, “What you get here is activation, activation, activation,” referring to the many sponsorship opportunities and image partnerships Las Vegas business offers.
As to what I learned from the event, I was told that Davis was clearly under the impression that the Raiders were headed to Carson, but “We came in third in a three team race,” he said. Or as one person I talked to said “The Raiders had the Lucy with the football thing done to them” in Los Angeles.
Also, Bank Of America financing is indeed in place, for those who asked. In all, I really enjoyed meeting Elliott McCabe of BofA, who handled the loan for the Raiders – the same type of loan that the Atlanta Falcons used for Mercedes Benz Dome.
What is interesting about that event and the stories is few seemed aware that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf believed she was lied to about the Raiders intentions, both in the case of Carson and Las Vegas. It purely seems like this all needs to be adjudicated in court.
That said, The Las Vegas Raiders Project is unquestionably exciting.