If you were hoping to buy a Las Vegas Raiders t-shirt to celebrate the team's pending move to Nevada, you're either going to have make it at home or wait a few years, because it appears that the Raiders aren't allowed to sell any Las Vegas-related team apparel just yet.
According to ESPN.com, the NFL has decided not to allow the Raiders to sell anything Vegas-related until the team actually moves out of Oakland, so if you see anyone wearing a "Las Vegas Raiders" hat during this season, you can safely assume that it's not officially licensed by the NFL. Basically, what all of this means is that the Raiders are going to have to wait nearly two years before they're allowed to sell any Vegas-related merchandise.
As things stand, the team is currently scheduled to move into their new $1.8 billion Vegas stadium in time for the 2020 season. Of course, there's always a chance we could see some Vegas merchandise before that and that's because the Raiders still don't know for sure where they're going to be playing in 2019. The team's lease in Oakland isand the Raiders don't currently have anything set up for the 2019 season.
Raiders owner Mark Davis is very well aware of how awkward the situation is and he's long been saying that the team will only stay in Oakland through 2019 if the fans will support the team.
"If the fans would like us to stay there, we'd love to be there for that and possibly talk to them about extending it for maybe 2019 as well and try to bring," Davis said in 2017.
If you don't count the fact that he's moving the team, Davis has been doing his best to keep fans in Oakland happy. Over the past two years, he's Marshawn Lynch and hired fan favorite Jon Gruden. So far, things seem to be going as well as they can for a team that's about to ditch its fans.
The one odd thing about the NFL's decision to not let the Raiders sell Vegas merchandise is that fans can already buy personal seat licenses (PSLs). So yes, you can spend thousands of dollars on PSLs, but you can't spend any money on merchandise.
Meanwhile, the Raiders seemed to have found a loophole in all of this. Since they can't sell Vegas stuff, it seems that team has decided to just leave the city name off of most of their merchandise. A quick glance at their team shop shows a bunch of shirts that mention the Raiders without mentioning either Las Vegas or Oakland.