It's a great day to be part of the Las Vegas Raiders

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

It had to have been 110 degrees on this summer day at the Allegiant Stadium construction site in Las Vegas when Raiders owner Mark Davis stopped by for one of his many visits to the franchise’s future home. A long line of workers waited patiently for their turn to meet him. When Davis’ staff instructed that it was time to leave, he decided to skip an upcoming appointment to stay and mingle with the workers. The wait grew from a few minutes to a few hours, yet he took pictures and signed autographs with all. Davis’ reasoning was simple: This stadium isn’t his. It belongs to the workers, Las Vegans and everyone else who proudly wears the silver and black of Raider Nation. The visits from Davis have become regular occurrences, and most times he’s armed with meals or gifts. It seemed fitting Wednesday when the franchise announced its official name change to the Las Vegas Raiders that those construction workers were front and center for the ceremony. Many donned Raiders gear, taking pictures with players in attendance and basking in their moment as being “part of the team.” “Mark has really embedded himself in the community,” said Steve Beasley, the electrical superintendent at the stadium. “People don’t realize what this community means to him. He’s a great guy who really cares. We saw that when he came to visit and how refused to leave. That meant a lot to us.” One of the biggest challenges of relocating to a new city is getting residents to have a vested interest in the success of the franchise. But Davis, through his acts of charity in the three years since the Raiders’ relocation from Oakland was approved, has made it easy to cheer the new home team. He’s like you and me: A down-to-earth guy who genuinely wants to make our city a better place. Take this week. The Raiders made a $500,000 donation to the Nevada Community Foundation to help eliminate meal debt for area children. When a family doesn’t qualify for free school meals for a child and doesn’t have the means to pay, a debt is placed in the family’s name. This donation would help cover the debt. So, while Wednesday’s official name change to the Las Vegas Raiders was a reminder that we will have an NFL franchise playing here in a few quick months, it was about much more. It was a reminder of what we are getting in the Raiders — a generous community partner that, with a charitable owner leading the way, will transform our city for the better. Davis proclaimed, “Today, Las Vegas becomes the nation’s capital, as in Raider Nation.” Being part of Raider Nation is pretty cool. “Being part of Raider Nation and helping transform the city, it’s incredible,” Raiders punter A.J. Cole said. “We are really excited about being here. Vegas is such a great market. There is so much passion and excitement around the city. We are excited to see how that translates to Sundays in that amazing facility (Allegiant Stadium).” Players also visited area elementary schools this week in what will be a regular ritual as the team firmly gets situated in town. Think about how cool it will be for someone in grade school to have a memory of meeting a Raiders player. It’s those kinds of moments, or Davis’ many interactions with stadium workers, that puts the human element in the NFL finally being here. We’ve known the Las Vegas Raiders would be a reality the past three years, patiently waiting for them to arrive and eager to see how they change our community for the better. Take it from the workers, it’s been a thrill being part of Raider Nation. “We are all going to see the product of what we worked on every Sunday on television,” Beasley said. “We’ll be able to say we were a part of it, that we worked on this sign, or that scoreboard or those lights.” Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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