The team held a draft party at Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell Hotel for VIPs, suite owners, and season ticket holders and our own Chaz Osborne was there
Walking into Drai’s nightclub for the official 2019 Raiders draft party in Las Vegas felt like walking into a private wing of a Raiders Hall of Fame.
A 10-foot illuminated Raiders emblem greeted guests including club seat and suite holders for the new Las Vegas Stadium, as well as corporate partners and current and former players.
The halls were filled with flashy banners of Raiders greats, coaches, and of course late owner Al Davis. The stage in the main room was set up like a concert festival with a DJ and hundreds of fans surrounding, ready to cheer the picks. Hosted by Raiders sideline reporter Nicole Zaloumis and former Raider Marcel Reece, the stage was set for an exciting evening.
As the Raiderettes danced on the stage, and the smoke cannons shot off, the Raiders first pick of the night was announced.
The Raiders are loved everywhere they go. But at the same time, this community here in Vegas is very close to California so there will be no disconnect.Former Raiders RB Charlie Garner
A mixed reaction fell over the room as fans probably weren’t as familiar with the name Clelin Ferrell as others that were at the top of most mock drafts. After a few minutes of letting the news sink in, the mood of the room changed to positive.
Speaking with fans about the Raiders move to Las Vegas was mixed as well. Of course, the local fans are excited for the move in 2020 and welcome the team with open arms, the Bay area fans in attendance were a little more subdued.
“Of course we would follow the Raiders anywhere,” a long time season ticket holder from Alameda told me. “But it’s a little upsetting to see the end of an era in Oakland”.
Former Raider great quarterback Jim Plunkett echoed that sentiment.
“I’m from the Bay area and I wish the Raiders could have found a way to stay,” he told me. “If the Raiders did have to move, I would say this is the best place they could go.”
Former Raiders running back Charlie Garner, an east coast native, shared his perspective with me on the Raiders move to Las Vegas.
“The Raiders are loved everywhere they go,” Garner said. “But at the same time, this community here in Vegas is very close to California so there will be no disconnect.”
He added it is unfortunate that Oakland is losing a team, L.A. lost a team, but the Raiders are still on the west coast and Las Vegas is a great city for the Raiders to lay claim to as their new home.
Next year’s Raiders draft party in Las Vegas will be a bit bigger – the NFL Draft will be hosted by the team.
Tune in to CBS Sports Radio 1140 and Radio.com Sunday from 8-10am PT for interviews with Raiders greats from the party.