by Tom LaMarre
The Las Vegas Raiders might sever their final ties with California in the coming months.
The Raiders were planning to hold a minicamp at lame-duck Bay Area headquarters in Alameda and training camp at Redwood Middle School in Napa, Calif., where they have conducted it since 1996.
However, Vincent Bonsignore reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that according to an unnamed source close to the team, both events could be moved to the Raiders’ new headquarters in Henderson, Nev., which are all but finished.
General Manager Mike Mayock was quoted in February that he was hoping something like this might happen.
“I don’t really want the players walking around (their state-of-the-art headquarters) like this, ‘Wow, this is cool,’ while we’re getting ready for week one,” Mayock said at the time. “I want to get all the shock and awe out of there. Get them used to it. Know where their meetings are, where everything is in the building.”
Team headquarters around the NFL have been closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but several are about to reopen and the Raiders’ new headquarters might be ready just in time for minicamp in early or mid-June.
This would be good news for the players and other team employees have found places to live in the Las Vegas area, and others who will be doing so soon.
In addition, if training camp is held in Henderson, it would cut down on travel players and team personnel would have to make during the preseason.
The Raiders’ new facility includes three outdoor fields and a 150,000-square-foot fieldhouse that will house one-and-a-half fields to practice when in weather dictates or if the Silver and Black are about to play in an indoor stadium.
Should Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak give the go-head, and all NFL and state protocols are met, Raiders coaches and players could officially christen their new facility with a minicamp within the next few weeks.
The Raiders have never held training camp outside California, whether they played in Oakland or Los Angeles.
The Marriott Hotel in Napa has been the Raiders’ training camp headquarters and they have practiced at Redwood Middle School since 1996.
Before that, they held training camp at the Radisson Suite Hotel in Oxnard from 1987-95, at the Oxnard Hilton in 1985-86, at the El Rancho Tropicana in Santa Rosa from 1963-1981 and headquartered at the Palomar Hotel while workout out at Santa Cruz High School from 1960-62.