As a sports fan, there's likely no fate worse than watching your hometown team up and move out of your city, spurning your easily accessible location for a sexier metropolis that's often more willing to part with their tax dollars. Just ask fans of the Cleveland Browns, Seattle SuperSonics, or, most recently, St. Louis Rams. And the Oakland Raiders might get added to that list soon.
For the time being, the Raiders are staying put in Oakland for the 2016-17 NFL season, but it's looking more and more like the team could buck the Bay Area in favor of a new home soon. The Raiders have reportedly been interested in moving to Las Vegas for quite some time now, and while it seemed like they were simply bluffing about it at first, it appears as though they're taking the necessary steps to relocate. This past weekend, the team went as far as to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the rights to the name "Las Vegas Raiders." According to Forbes, the Raiders did this for the purpose of putting the name on future merchandise, with the trademark allowing them to use it on "education and entertainment services, clothing, mobile applications, football helmets, trading cards, jewelry, and play figures."
If you're a Raiders fan who lives in Oakland and you're looking for a ray of hope in what seems like an otherwise bleak situation, you should know that the San Diego Chargers previously applied for a trademark for the name "Los Angeles Chargers," and they are still very much in San Diego. So you have that going for you.
Still, it seems as though the Raiders are interested in, at the very least, pursuing the idea of moving. Recently, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee started looking into a plan to fund a Sin City stadium with increases in taxes for hotel rooms within Clark County, Nev. According to ESPN reporter Arash Markazi, there are plans for that stadium already and everything:
Additionally, Raiders owner Mark Davis said that he's serious about making the move earlier this year. "I’ve given my commitment to Las Vegas," he said back in March, "and if they can come through with what they’re talking about doing, then we’ll go to Las Vegas."
Keep your fingers crossed, Oakland.