Well it’s official, friends. The Oakland Raiders are invading Southern Nevada. Monday morning in Phoenix, NFL owners approved the move by a 31-1 vote. The single vote against the move came from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Over the course of the next several days you’re likely to read many hyperbolic articles going to great lengths to explain to you how the Raiders moving to Las Vegas will change the landscape of the city in immeasurable ways..... forever. It’s clickable, it’s a compelling story line, but it’s untrue.
But it certainly will change the sports landscape. That includes UNLV athletics. Following Monday’s announcement Rebels head football coach Tony Sanchez, entering his third season with the team, gave his opinion on Las Vegas acquiring an NFL franchise.
“What it’s going to do for this program is huge,” Sanchez said. “I’m excited for the city of Las Vegas.”
“Playing in a world-class facility is another thing that allows us to recruit at a high level. With that and the practice facility, the energy around the program right now, it has a chance to take it to a whole new level, a level a lot of people thought UNLV football could never reach.”
That “world-class facility,” largely funded by the dollars of tax-payers, is supposed to be ready to house both the Raiders and Rebels in 2020. That will be the senior season for redshirt freshman quarterback Armani Rogers, the biggest recruiting get in the Sanchez era.
“It’s a big step for Las Vegas,” Rogers said. “Having an NFL team like the Raiders here and playing in the stadium with them, it’s going to help our recruiting and it’s going to be a great thing for our team in the long run. We’re all looking forward to it.”
It’s certainly big news for sports fans in the Vegas Valley. What else does this mean for the UNLV Rebels?
Maybe NFL realignment will have a trickle down on college realignment.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 27, 2017
UNLV to the Big 12?
Done laughing? That was retweeted by the UNLV Athletics Twitter account. What a time to be alive.