by STEVEN GEHEGAN//Sports Editor
It seems that the National Football League cares more about making money than its fan.
After moving the Rams out of St. Louis to Los Angeles, the league wants to continue to allow teams to move from places with strong fan bases to places where support is nonexistent. Now the NFL is going to move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. For several reasons, that team will never be able to thrive there.
One reason the move is confusing is the fact that the Raiders are moving to a place where the NFL will not be able to support a team. The city of Las Vegas is the tourist capital, where people go to gamble and have a good time. But people will not come to see any NFL team when going on a vacation. Most people are loyal to a team that they grew up around or an area that they live in. So why put a team in Vegas, where not that many people live in the surrounding area? Vegas is a place for tourists to go.
It could be a fun place for the fans of the visiting teams, but it would seem hard for that team to draw in a home crowd. However, it might be easier for the Raiders to draw fans than the Rams. The Raiders have had more recent success and are projected to be a good team for the next several years with Derek Carr on offense and Khalil Mack on defense. But with Vegas mainly catering to tourists, it would be hard for the Raiders to draw a consistent home crowd like they have in Oakland.
Another problem with moving a team to Vegas would be the issue of gambling. The NFL has always taken a hard stance against sports betting. So it seems strange to put a team in one of the biggest hot spots for gambling. Betting on sports can compromise the integrity of the game. In most areas of the country, it is still illegal to gamble. So why would the NFL want to put a team full of rich players in a town where it can be easy to get carried away? The easier it is to have access to gambling, the more likely players might do it. This could cause problems for the Raiders and the NFL the same way in did in Major League Baseball and for Pete Rose.
Another problem would be mainly for the players mostly. But who would want to live in Vegas? While it may be a cool place to visit, most people would never want to live there. For one thing, the heat is unbearable, plus there is the fact that the city of Las Vegas might not be around in the distant future. A huge city in the middle of the desert is quickly running out of water for the people who live there.
For these reasons, the NFL needs to leave teams in the city that they are thriving in, instead of trying to fit teams in cities they do not belong in.