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Raiders fans sue China over handling of COVID-19, not being able to attend games

Vincent Frank
Las Vegas Raiders schedule and predictions
May 29, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; General overall view of Las Vegas Raiders helmet at the Allegiant Stadium construction site. The stadium will be the home of the Las Vegas Raiders and the UNLV Rebels football teams. It is located on about 62 acres of land west of Mandalay Bay at Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue and between Polaris Avenue and Dean Martin Drive, just west of Interstate 15. Construction of the $1.8 billion stadium began on September 18, 2017 and is expected to be completed on July 31, 2020, in time for the 2020 NFL season and the 2020 NCAA season. Allegiant Stadium will serve as site of the Las Vegas Bowl beginning in 2020, which will feature a Pac-12 football opponent versus either a Big Ten or SEC opponent, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This coming September was expected to be special for the Las Vegas Raiders and their new fans in the desert metropolis. The Raiders had just relocated from Northern California and were set to open up the brand-new Allegiant Stadium in front of tens of thousands of fans.

Things have obviously changed since then. The COVID-19 pandemic, which started to plague the United States this past spring, has forced the Raiders into deciding to play games without fans this coming season.

Related: All news on Raiders’ new stadium

Two Raiders fans have now decided to sue the country of China and other leaders within the communist nation for their mishandling of the virus and the end result of not being able to attend Raiders games this fall.

Raiders fans sue China over handling of COVID-19

“Las Vegas lawyer William Schuller wants China to pay for his Raiders season tickets,” David Ferrara of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. “He argues in a federal lawsuit that the country lied about and mishandled the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the capital city of the Hubei province. Schuller demanded that he and his clients Larry Cohen and Elizabeth Cohen be reimbursed for the tickets and the fun they would have had watching football games at Allegiant Stadium.”

The handling of COVID-19 by China has obviously been a contentious issue since that country first saw an outbreak of the virus late last year. That’s not necessarily the point here. There’s going to be investigations. The contentious debate will continue, as it should.

However, this lawsuit is all sorts of nuts.

“The decision to play the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 inaugural season without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic deprived Plaintiffs of the opportunity to see the first games the storied Raiders franchise played in Las Vegas and to see some of the greatest NFL players in person,” Schuller wrote in the complaint.

As of Wednesday afternoon, north of 165,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 after the virus made its way from China. But we’re focusing on a lawsuit because two fans can’t enjoy football games in a stadium?

As for the sports world, this is a major backdrop with the 2020 NFL regular season set to get going in less than a month. The inability to host fans at venues throughout the league is going to have wide-ranging financial ramifications, especially when it comes to a downturn in terms of revenue.

That’s no more true than with the Raiders. They are expected to lose north of $550 million in revenue without fans being able to attend games during the 2020 season.