Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis expressed his strong opposition to the NFL implementing a flexible scheduling system for Thursday Night Football games.
Davis, known for his outspoken nature, didn’t hold back in his criticism, taking a slight jab at the Los Angeles Chargers in the process.
In a recent interview with USA Today Sports Davis began by stating, “Absolutely not,” when asked about his support for the Thursday Night Football flex schedule.
Davis then proceeded to provide an example that seemed to specifically target the Chargers, a division rival of the Raiders. Davis said, “If you have a Raiders-Chargers game in Las Vegas scheduled for a Thursday and all of the fans driving from Los Angeles – the Raiders fans and all Three Chargers fans – buy their tickets and book their hotels, how in the hell do you schedule it and now say, ‘Sorry, it’s now on Sunday?’ How in the hell do you do that?”
The Raiders are slated to host the Chargers on Thursday Night Football in Week 15 of the 2023 season. Unless the game is flexed to another day, the AFC West adversaries will face off on Thursday, December 14, with the broadcast available on Prime Video.
While the Raiders enjoy a passionate and dedicated fan base, even after their relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the Chargers have struggled to cultivate a fervent following since their move from San Diego to Los Angeles. Chargers home games often feel like away games due to a lack of fan support.
Interestingly, the Chargers outperformed the Raiders in terms of ticket sales during the 2022 season. Sofi Stadium, the Chargers’ home venue, witnessed a 97.8% ticket sale rate, while Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders’ home, only achieved an average capacity of 95.5%. Davis has reportedly been embarrassed by the lack of a substantial home-field advantage in Las Vegas.
The proposal to introduce flexible scheduling for Thursday Night Football games was passed in a vote of 24-8 on Monday. However, several teams, including the Steelers, Giants, Jets, Packers, Bears, Raiders, Lions, and Bengals, opposed the measure. Mark Davis, among the dissenting owners, made it clear that he strongly disagrees with the concept of flexing Thursday Night Football games.
The newly approved rule allows for the flexing of two Thursday Night Football games per season with a minimum notice of 28 days. Despite the majority vote in favor of the proposal, Davis remains resolute in his stance against it, further emphasizing his concerns about the potential disruption to fans’ plans and the challenges it poses to logistical arrangements.
As the NFL moves forward with its plans to implement a flexible scheduling system for Thursday Night Football, it remains to be seen how the league will address the concerns raised by owners like Mark Davis.
The clash between the Raiders and Chargers in Week 15 of the 2023 season will provide an opportunity to witness whether the game remains on Thursday or if it will be flexed, altering the dynamics for both teams and their respective fan bases.