Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is going to have to make some serious changes for the season. One idea that the league has already acted on is to tarp off the first eight rows of every NFL stadium for games. Teams will be able to sell ads on the tarps. Taking after his father, Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis disagreed with the idea and was the only owner to vote against it.
He had some strong words for the NFL.
“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 Vincent Bonsignore of 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?”
It appears Davis is more upset about the fact that the Raiders’ most passionate fans might not be able to come to a game now than he is about the loss of sales.
Davis Is Hoping to Find a Solution
Since Davis doesn’t like the NFL’s solution, he appears to want to find one of his own.
“Creativity will be necessary,” Davis said, per Bonsignore. “One of our executives came up with a solution, one in which Las Vegas will be familiar. But the league shot it down dismissively. But we’re not ready to give up yet. We will do everything we can to see that all our fans are able to attend every game this season.”
A problem for Davis is that they’ve already sold out all of their home games and won’t be able to give seats to the thousands of people who were planning on sitting in the first eight rows for games.
“We don’t have other seats in the building to move them to,” Davis said.
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Davis Says NFL ‘Dropped the Ball’
Davis wasn’t done as he blasted the NFL for its lack of equity despite the message they’ve been sending to teams.
“Unfortunately, a league that operated the entire offseason on the basis of equity, whether it be the draft or team facility access, has completely dropped the ball on uniform attendance procedures,” Davis said. “We have potentially 32 different capacities and seating formations. Where is the equity in that?”
While he’s upset with the NFL, Davis did make it clear that he will follow the rules put in place by the government.
“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 said. “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.”
Davis may even pull the plug on any fans attending games if he deems the solution to be unfair.
“Maybe that is the fairest thing to do,” he said. “Maybe it’s all or none, because I’d hate to have to tell any of our fans they can’t go to some or any Raiders games.”