by Tom LaMarre
In the wake of reports earlier this week that the Las Vegas Raiders would move a scheduled June minicamp from Alameda, Calif., to their new headquarters in Henderson, Nev., that are near completion, ESPN claims that the move is underway.
The report, picked up by several other media outlets, says that not only is packing underway at the Alameda facility the Raiders have called home since 1996, but that some packed moving trucks already are on their way to the Las Vegas area.
The facility has been shut down because of the Coronavirus since March 24.
The Raiders’ lame-duck facility is located on Bay Farm Island in Alameda, a short drive from the Oakland International Airport and across the Oakland Estuary from the Oakland Coliseum, which was built with the Silver and Black in mind when in opened in 1966.
From the 1960s until the Raiders moved to Los Angles in 1982, the team also practiced in Alameda at a site next to Corica Park Golf Course, with the Coliseum in sight across the Estuary.
Old-timers remember that a weather balloon would be launched from a building next to the practice facility, which was surrounded by a tall fence to prevent eavesdropping, every afternoon near the start of practice during the season.
In the early days of the American Football League, Coach and General Manager Al Davis in addition to other owners and coaches were concerned about spying, and even helicopters that passed overhead were scrutinized.
The Raiders practiced on that site again when they moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1994 until the newer facility was built. Until then, the Raiders’ front office was located in a building across the Nimitz Freeway from the Coliseum in the early years and later in a site on Hegenberger Road, which leads to the Oakland Airport.
Once the Bay Farm Island headquarters were complete, the Raiders’ entire operation was finally located in the same place.
In those reports this week, it also said that the Raiders would move training camp in July to their new headquarters from the Marriott Hotel and Redwood Middle School in Napa, Calif., where they have conducted camp since 1996.