Raiders owner won’t attend games if fans cannot, and not okay with distanced seating arrangement

Feb 22, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis and head coach John Gruden attend the WBC heavyweight title bout between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are hoping to play in their beautiful brand new stadium in front of a packed house this year. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, they may not get their wish. On that note, if fans aren’t allowed, or if the only option is to operate with a distanced seating arrangement, owner Mark Davis won’t attend and would rather Allegiant Stadium be completely empty.

Mark Davis: If Raiders fans can’t attend, then I won’t either

Speaking on the subject, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Davis said, “I won’t go if the fans can’t go, and the way it looks right now there won’t be any fans at our games,” Davis said.

Taking it a step further, he made it clear he’s all in or wants no fans at all.

“It’s all or none for me,” Davis said. “Either all the fans are going to be in there or none. . . . I can’t tell one fan that they can’t go to the inaugural opening game in a stadium that they helped to build through their PSLs. I won’t tell them that they can’t go but the rest of these guys can . . . and oh, by the way, don’t worry about it because we’ll be able to advertise on your seats.”

It’s easy to understand why Davis would feel this way, and fans probably would agree with his logic.

However, as noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Davis may not have a choice in the matter if the league has anything to say about it.

“The league, the union, the state, and/or the city may have something to say about the all-or-nothing approach,” Florio wrote. “With revenue due to take a massive hit as a result of reduced or non-existent attendance, every team should embrace the opportunity to generate as much ticket revenue as possible. Beyond his duty to those who own a piece of the franchise along with him, Davis arguably has a duty to generate as much revenue as he can, for the benefit of Nevada, of Las Vegas, of his 31 fellow owners, and of the players.”

Nevada seeing a huge spike of positive COVID-19 cases

The reason all this is being discussed in the first place is that the United States is currently the world’s coronavirus epicenter. Clark County, where Las Vegas is located in Nevada, has, like many areas around the nation, seen some big increases in positive cases recently.

As noted by Kaitlyn Olvera of 8NewsNow.com, Clark County has experienced four straight days of record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers, with Saturday’s total coming in at 1,128 new cases for the county.

Raiders open training camp this week

In the middle of all this, the NFL announced Saturday that training camps will open on time. For the Raiders, like most teams, this means that their rookies will report on July 21 while the entire team will be in camp on July 28.

If players do not report, they face stiff fines. The NFLPA may end up filing a grievance against the NFL if health and safety measures are not agreed upon before players arrive.