31 NFL owners voted yes on tarping off rows near fields for games this fall, and replacing them with advertising. The lone holdout: Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.
This year was supposed to be a celebratory one for the Raiders. The team makes its long-anticipated move from Oakland to Vegas, and is set to open the impressive new Allegiant Stadium. Season tickets for the team are completely sold out.
Davis says that pushing out those fans who’ve already paid for seats closest to the field is unfair. The current plan is to tarp off eight rows, but allow franchises to sell advertising on the tarp in order to offset the losses that come from it. The Raiders owner doesn’t want to tell any of his new Vegas fans that they can’t attend games.
“I can’t imagine telling one fan they cannot attend the opening game of our inaugural season in Las Vegas at the most magnificent stadium that they helped to build, let alone tell 3,500 fans that their seats are gone for the entire season,” Davis said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Those seats in the front rows are some of our most ardent fans, including members of the famed Black Hole. You think I want to sell advertising on their seats?”
On a zoom call with @NFL owners & Roger Goodell, @Raiders owner Mark Davis went to bat for fans RE: tarping off first 8 rows of stadiums – taking away thousands of seats in the process – only to sell that space for advertising. He vows to keep fighting:https://t.co/JDcAJM312U
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) June 29, 2020
Davis says that the Las Vegas Raiders doesn’t have other seats to accommodate displaced fans. Allegiant Stadium is completely sold out for the season. He also called having a uniform policy for all stadiums, despite different capacities and seating formations unfair.
This being said, there is a very good chance that the ongoing public health situation will force the entire league’s hand. At the moment, it seems hard to imagine the NFL having 100-percent capacity, even beyond the eight removed rows at field level.
“What Governor (Steve) Sisolak and the state of Nevada determine to be safe in the face of coronavirus after careful consideration, I’ll abide by,” Davis added. “And at the appropriate time, he may determine that it isn’t safe for 100 percent of the fans to attend. At that point, I have to make a decision.”