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Raiders Mark Davis Leaning Towards No Fans at Games

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Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis is leaning towards not having any fans in attendance at the Raiders new Allegiant Stadium, the team’s new $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium near the Las Vegas Strip, this upcoming season, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.

Should no fans be allowed in the stadium, Davis says that he won’t be attending any games either. Davis also said that the idea of leaving the seats for fans and erecting hockey-style plexiglass around the bottom of the stadium, in an effort to separate fans from players on the sidelines was “shot down” before the vote.

“No one fan is more important to me than another, no matter if they paid for a $75,000 PSL or a $500 PSL,” Davis said, per the report.

“They’re all Raider fans to me. My mindset today is no fans [should attend games].

“I don’t even know if it’s safe to play. ‘Uncertainty’ is the word.”

Davis went on to outline three options for the league, at the present moment:

1. Go on as planned, with teams reporting for training camp over the next week, and see what happens.

2. Delay the start of the season until November and go to a 12-game season, cancelling each team’s four interconference games. (For the Raiders, that would mean games at the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons and home games against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)

3. Cancel the 2020 season entirely.

“Everything is up in the air with the [COVID-19] virus and how it will affect our league and season,” Davis said.

Davis added that with tickets sold out for the season, they have no room to move fans from the bottom sections of seating.

“That’s the Black Hole,” Davis said. “It’s the people that want to be in the front row. Boisterous fans … now I’ve got to tell 8,000 people that helped build this thing that they can’t come to a game? I don’t have 8,000 seats to move them to. We’re sold out.

“The optics are terrible: advertising on top of seats belonging to people you’re telling they can’t come to the game. I’d rather have everybody pissed at me than just one person. I’ve got to make it up to them, and I will. This is all about safety and equity.”

Davis is looking at 2021, where the hopes are that the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully, will have subsided so that they can have a true opening with all the bells and whistles, instead of a “soft opening”.

“We want our inaugural season to be something special,” Davis said. “I don’t even know if we’ll light the [Al Davis] torch. These are all potentials and respecting all.”

Davis went on to say that people “essential to the production of the game” should be in attendance”.

“The only thing I’m essential for is after the game, yelling at Jon [Gruden],” Davis joked. “I can do that over the phone.”

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A lot of things have changed with the pandemic, including how team workouts are conducted, with a lot of virtual meetings being relied upon to deliver fitness streams and training sessions.

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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