It’s a day Raider Nation has been waiting for, the first home game of the preseason. Despite the Raiders move to Las Vegas, diehard fans said they'll still support the team.
Fans said the season is bittersweet knowing the team is heading to Las Vegas but they want to make these last few years count and bring a championship to Oakland.
The parking lot at Oakland Coliseum filled up fast. Tailgaters arrived early decked out in silver and black for the Raiders second preseason game. It’s their first home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Fans fired up to see Quarterback Derek Carr, back on the field for the first time since his injury toward the end of last season. They also wanted to see Running Back Marshawn Lynch who played for a series after sitting it out again for the national anthem like he did during the Raiders preseason game in Arizona.
“We are a strong military family,” said Matt Seguin of Seattle. “We believe we should stand but he's got his right to do whatever he wants.”
“It's his choice,” said Shea Ohlott of Santa Cruz. “It gets so outshined with what he does in this community.”
Ohlott is a season ticket holder for 17 years. He brought his 1-year-old daughter for her first game. While he's not happy the team's leaving, he said he understands.
“At the end of the day, I realize it's a business,” said Ohlott. “I don't understand how you stop being a fan.”
Other fans wishing they'd stay in Oakland.
“I think they should do the right thing and stick around,’ said Warren Michael of Petaluma. “They are not going to get this in Vegas.”
“I almost turned in my season tickets when they said they were moving,” said Bernard James of Oakland. “I had a cooling down period. I’m a football fan. I love football.”
All of them agree the team is heading in the right direction under Coach Jack Del Rio and they have one thing in mind, the Superbowl.
“I think a combination of Carr and Marshawn Lynch,” said Rudell White of Oakland. “We are going to do it this time and the defense is going to get better.”
Matt Seigan, a fan since the 1970's, has a Raider Nation tattoo. He’s now living in Seattle driving 13 hours for this game.
“We have enough weapons in our arsenal right now,” said Seguin. “There's not one team out there that can take us down. All we have to do is have a good cohesive game, stick together, follow the game plan, listen to Jack. It's over.”
High hopes for a return to greatness. Some fans said winning the Superbowl will make the move to Las Vegas in two years a little easier.
The Raiders first game of the season will be on September 10 in Tennessee and their home opener is on September 17 against the Jets. Officials say attendance is up slightly from last year’s preseason home game with 53,600 fans.