Raiders owner says team will try to fill stadium in 2020, but NFL may need ‘some form of bubble’

Many NFL teams are preparing to play in front of limited or no fans in 2020 thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but if it were for Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, no one taking root for silver and black he would lose his Seat this season. As Vincent Bonsignore reported from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Davis not only “strongly” opposed a recent NFL decision to cover the seats closest to the field, but remains confident that the Raiders will still welcome everyone. its fans to every game, even if it means the league operates within “some form of a bubble” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“I can’t imagine telling a fan that they can’t attend our inaugural season opener in Las Vegas at the most magnificent stadium they helped build,” Davis said, according to Bonsignore. “Much less tell 3,500 fans that their seats are gone for the entire season. Those seats in the front rows are some of our hottest fans, including members of the famous Black Hole. Do you think I want to sell advertising on their seats ? “

The Raiders owner added that a team executive proposed a tailored alternative to fill the seats, but that “the league dismissed it derisively.” And yet, he remains committed to trying to fill Allegiant Stadium, which is still under construction for its 2020 debut.

“We are not ready to give up yet,” he said. “We will do our best to see that all of our fans can attend every game this season.”

In the end, however, Davis is apparently still aware that filling the seats may not be possible and appears willing to follow orders from local officials.

“What Governor (Steve) Sisolak and the State of Nevada determine to be safe from the coronavirus after careful consideration, I will follow,” he said. “And at the appropriate time, you can determine that 100 percent of the fans aren’t sure to attend. At that point, I have a decision to make … Maybe it’s all or nothing (with the fans), because I” I’d hate to have to tell any of our fans that they can’t go to some Raiders games. “

As for the league as a whole, Davis believes the NFL could still be forced to make serious adjustments to its protocol if it wants to celebrate a full 2020 season.

“You can keep players away from fans, but you can’t keep players away from players. That could be our Achilles’ heel. Without some form of a bubble, we could be asking for trouble.”