Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

WWJD #7-  Officially The Las Vegas Raiders – The New Raider Nation

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Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

On Wednesday, January 22nd, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak proclaimed Jan. 22 as Las Vegas Raiders Day in the Silver State. The governor marked the official welcome to the Silver and Black’s new permanent home and ushered in a new era in the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World. Las Vegas is now “The capital of Raider Nation.” The NFL officially approved the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas in March 2017, and the Silver and Black set up business operations in Southern Nevada immediately, including getting involved heavily in the Las Vegas community. That effort has already immersed the Raiders in the heart of Las Vegas.

Raiders owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badainwere joined Derek Carr, Trent Brown, Darren Waller, Marcel Reece, Jonathan Abram, Alec Ingold, and AJ Cole along with Raiders legends Jim Plunkett and Napoleon McCallum at Allegiant Stadium for event.

 

As the Raiders late owner Al Davis once stated, “The greatness of the Raiders is in its future”

 

The Las Vegas Raiders also pledged $500,000 toward eliminating meal debt which will be allocated through the Nevada Community Foundation (NCF). Nevada schools participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will be working with NCF to eliminate existing school meal debt.

“Today, we want to make a donation to the Nevada Department of Agriculture meal service program, which feeds kids lunch and breakfast at the schools. We are hoping to eliminate the debt that the entire state of Nevada has to do that project, and in that regard, we are donating $500,000 to the program,” said Raiders Owner Mark Davis.

 

The Raiders announcement on Wednesday was sandwiched into a very busy week for the organization.

 

On Monday, the NFL and the Raiders announced the plans for the 2020 NFL Draft.

As the Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL, Caesars Entertainment will host the Main Draft Stage and NFL Draft Experience Presented by Oikos® Triple Zero, adjacent to the CAESARS FORUM, which will house Selection Square.” an NFL press release stated. “Fountains of Bellagio to Host the NFL Draft Red Carpet.”

Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

“Embracing the city’s personality and iconic locations enables us to create an event that captures the spirit and energy of our hosts,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CLUB BUSINESS & LEAGUE EVENTS. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Raiders, Las Vegas officials and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to create an unforgettable week-long celebration of football for our fans, the incoming prospects, and partners and kick off the NFL’s next 100 years.”

Set against the iconic backdrop of the Strip, the NFL Draft Main Stage will be constructed next to the Caesars Forum. Free and open to the public, fans are invited to gather at the Draft Main Stage viewing zone to watch the first-round selections on Night 1 (Thursday), Rounds 2-3 on Night 2 (Friday), and Rounds 4-7 on Day 3 (Saturday). The Main Stage will also host daily performances by headlining acts throughout the Draft.

“The Raiders are thrilled to join the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the resort corridor, and the local community in welcoming fans to Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Raiders President, Marc Badain. “Just as the NFL journey begins on Draft weekend for many young players, the Silver and Black’s journey in the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is also just beginning. There is no better place to showcase this special event than on the famous Las Vegas Boulevard, and fans will be treated to a truly unique experience in an iconic location.”

 

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

On Thursday, the Raiders and MGM Resorts announced a new partnership, making MGM an official gaming partner of the Raiders. MGM Resorts also has been named a “Founding Partner” of Allegiant Stadium and an official home of the Raiders Pre-and Post-Game Party.

There will be a “tailgate village” located between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor in the Luxor valet parking lot on Hacienda and Las Vegas Boulevard. The plan is to turn that corner of “the Strip” into Raider Central with construction beginning shortly. We have been told up to 2,500 members of Raider Nation will fill the village, which will include food, drinks, a pregame show, performances, cabanas, VIP area, an area for kids to play, and shuttles to take fans to and from Allegiant Stadium.

 

This will be an all-day tailgate village starting with the early morning games and ending after the Sunday Night Football game concludes.

 

Allegiant Stadium is 80% complete and is on schedule to be completed in July. If you wish to track the progress of the construction of the “Crown Jewel of the Desert,” click on this link.

 

Las Vegas Raiders
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

A moment I would like to share happened after everything concluded. Reece saw a member of the Local Labors 872, who are helping build “The Death Star” and noticed his boots weren’t in the best shape. He asked him what size his foot was. “I wear a 14,” he said, Reece took off his boots and gave them to him after he signed the boots.

This is the type of goodwill and community support the Raiders are known for. I don’t think when the day started; anyone would have thought Reece would give his boots away to a worker in need. It wasn’t planned or even meant for the press to see, it was a moment of kindness. This is the moment that will stand out to me on a day of many memorable moments.

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Joe Arrigo

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