The Raiders weren’t in Los Angeles for a very long time but the team has had a lasting impact on the city. They’re the only NFL team to win a Super Bowl for the city, which quickly made them cultural icons. The Raiders left in 1994 but are still arguably the most popular team in Los Angeles.
Every time the team travels to face the Chargers, fans donning silver and black flood the stands. It always feels like a home game for the Raiders. Even though the Chargers are more exciting now and just beat the Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback Derek Carr is still expecting it to be a home game for his team.
“In my past, before playing in SoFi last year with no fans, whether it was in Los Angeles at that soccer stadium or in Qualcomm in San Diego, it was another home game,” Carr said of facing the Chargers. “You always looked at it as another home game and that was no disrespect, it’s just a fact. The way you practice, the way you meet, it felt like a home game. And I fully expect Raider Nation to take over the majority of the stadium again, they usually do in my time. Before I was here, that’s what everyone would talk about. [Charles Woodson] would say ‘hey, when we go down there it’s another home game’ and I fully expect that this time.”
Those comments from Carr will likely be difficult for the Chargers and its fans to listen to but it’s true. There are set to be at least 74% Raiders fans at Monday’s game, according to Vivid Seats. That would certainly qualify as a Raiders takeover of SoFi Stadium.
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Bryan Edward Ready for ‘Raider Party’
Many Raiders players on the roster right now haven’t had a chance to witness one of these home games in Los Angeles due to the pandemic last season. It’s certainly a unique experience. Second-year wide receiver Bryan Edwards is excited to see what happens.
“I’m expecting a Raider party,” Edwards said. “We played in that stadium in the preseason and it was looking like a Raider party, so I expect them to come out in full effect.”
The Raiders did play at SoFi Stadium against the Rams in the preseason but this will be the first real game they can play in front of fans. It’ll certainly be a “Raider Party” for Monday Night Football.
Keenan Allen Doesn’t Think Fan Disparity Will Be That Bad
With the Raiders hiring defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in the offseason, he brought a lot of former Chargers with him. Players like Casey Hayward, Darius Philon and Denzel Perryman will finally know how it feels to get cheered during a Raider game in Los Angeles.
However, some aren’t buying that the fan disparity will be that bad. Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen believes that there should be an equal split between the two fan bases.
“They travel good, but we’ve been winning. Obviously, we got 10 [Justin Herbert]. I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the building,” Allen said, via Gilbert Manzano.
Obviously, it’s hard to know for sure what the fan numbers will be until the game actually gets here. That said, there’s no evidence to believe that there won’t be more Raider fans than Charger fans at Monday’s game.