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MINNEAPOLIS – The Raiders have given away a home game to play abroad four of the last five seasons.
That sucks, considering the Silver and Black are leaving their home market for Las Vegas in 2020. Ultimately, that’s an NFL call. It’s also something done with teams in transition, like the Rams and Chargers. The Raiders get a bigger payday for shipping a game elsewhere, but East Bay fans loyal to the team’s ancestral home are getting jobbed losing what is a finite number of games left in the East Bay.
The Raiders played in London in 2014 and had home games in Mexico City the last two years. Former head coach Jack Del Rio was vocal about the fact he didn’t like giving away home games, but the league keeps shipping them elsewhere. The Raiders will play Seattle in London next season. Expect a game abroad in 2019, the last year before the Silver and Black move to Vegas.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about shipping Raiders games abroad in a Wednesday press conference, and said taking games from Oakland is the downside of putting the Silver and Black on display.
“We want to share our games with fans on a global basis,” Goodell said. “…I think 30 of 32 teams have will have played in the United Kingdom by the end of the year. Yes, that comes with sacrifices and, from time to time, home game. Yes, the Raiders have had more international game recently. That’s a fact. It’s also true that we have teams in transition from temporary stadiums to long-term facilities.
“We do our best to balance that. The Raiders are an attractive team, globally, and we want to deliver that. We know how passionate things are in Oakland, and we want to deliver that when possible, but we want to continue to expand our game.”