Become a Vegas Insider
The Raider Nation Perspective is a series showcasing contributions from Raider fans. Our Raider Nation perspective today comes from Andrew Aziz. Share the Raider love & follow Andrew on Twitter at @andrewaziz711).
The cool wind of the early morning sea breeze wakes the inner Raider. The sun peaks over the horizon early in the morning, and while others sleep in on this Sunday morning, you’ve prepped and packed your tailgating set and are ready to hit the road.
As you merge over to exit Hegenberger Road, the influx of silver and black captivates the environment. You make your way over to your lot, revealing your pass, and settle in to your spot, ready to whip out the setup a measly 7 hours before kickoff.
You unpack your charcoal grill, firing it up as it warms those around it. The meat, which you had marinated the night before, sizzles on the grill. You crack open a bottle of beer, and salad to the nation. It’s early, but the ‘itch’ for tailgating has been motivating you since the previous week.
Loud chants of “RAIDERS” begin to be heard all over the parking lot, as barbecue smoke (and a faint smell of marijuana) engulf the air.
Tailgating with ‘Raider Nation’ in Oakland has been deemed one of the best, most lucrative environments the NFL has to offer.
VEGAS INSPIRED COLLECTIONS
As you make your way through the parking lots, you hear the different genres of music ranging from hip-hop and mariachi, to country and rock ‘n roll. The aroma of the variety of barbecues settles in, as the generations of Raiders offer you to join their fiesta.
Everybody celebrates a little differently in Oakland, but everybody celebrates. From the youngest to the oldest, they proudly don the silver and black. The infamous costumed Raiders fans make their way around the different lots, posing for pictures with those that recognize them from TV and those that don’t.
This is the life of the Raiders pre-game, a nostalgic period of time where Raiders fans from all over the world come to celebrate and prepare themselves for the festivities that take place on the field.
The Raiders, known as the ‘Team of the Decades’, taunts a lineage of Raiders fans. You will see a wide age range celebrating the Silver and Black every Sunday, and the boundary is limitless.
SAVE BIG IN VEGAS
The Raiders faithful will travel, tailgate, and dominate wherever they go. The tailgating fan experience is treasured for all Raiders fans, and as they make their way over to Las Vegas to play in their new home, Allegiant Stadium, the question so many Raider faithful ask is, “how will the tailgating experience reflect that which was so admired in Oakland?”
It will continue.
Some of the traditions may go away, but the relentless energy that comes with the Vegas aura will introduce a newfound adage that Raiders fans will come to appreciate. The Las Vegas Strip, less than 3 miles away from Allegiant Stadium, will house thousands of fans every Raiders home game weekend and the pregame festivities will surely enhance the overall experience.
Raiders officials have promised that tailgating will not be a major issue when the Raiders move to Las Vegas. The Raiders president Marc Badain has said that “every lot that we have control over will both encourage and allow tailgating.” The Raiders fan experience encompasses tailgating.
The tailgating experience in Las Vegas preferably should include and allow open-flame barbecuing, loud music, and fan-friendly experiences such as throwing the football around, and being able to mingle spaciously within a walking distance of the ‘Jewel in the Desert.’
The first Raiders regular season game falls during their Week 2 Monday Night Football battle against the reigning NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints, and their controversial quarterback, Drew Brees.
Contingent on fans being allowed in the stadium, that opening night battle will be sure to have Allegiant Stadium and its surroundings rocking before, during, and after the game.