It’s official: The Raiders officially became the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Gov. Steve Sisolak commemorated the momentous day by proclaiming Jan. 22 as Las Vegas Raiders Day in Nevada.
With Sisolak and team owner Mark Davis in attendance, the Raiders finalized what’s been in the making for nearly three years at the name change ceremony held on Wednesday. The special event was held in front of the Raider’s new home stadium, Allegiant Stadium. Sisolak gave an official proclamation to Davis at the conference to commemorate the change. Jim Plunkett, Raider’s legend, was also there in celebration.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and played 13 seasons in (Los Angeles),” Davis said. “Both cities will always be part of our DNA. But today we begin a new chapter in our storied history. For today — January 22, 2020 — we are now the Las Vegas Raiders.”
“And today,” Davis said, “Las Vegas officially becomes our nation’s capital.”
The crowd erupted in applause during the official announcement. Raiders players also signed Allegiant Stadium construction workers’ hard hats, and even one worker’s boots.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 22, 2020
— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) January 22, 2020
The Raiders are preparing to play for the first time in their new Las Vegas home this fall. Their headquarters and training facility are currently located in Henderson.
Exciting announcements were also made during the ceremony, one being that the Raiders will begin selling Las Vegas Raiders gear at the 2020 NFL Draft to kick off the change. The Raiders organization, who have already immersed themselves in philanthropic initiatives around the Las Vegas community, said the team will be doing even more.
500,000 Pledge to Eliminate Silver State’s Student Meal Debt
The Las Vegas Raiders are pledging $500,000 to eliminate student meal debt as their first big order of business. This pledge will be allocated through the Nevada Community Foundation (NCF). Schools in the state of Nevada that participate in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will be working with the Nevada Community Foundation to eliminate any existing school meal debt.
“Today, we want to make a donation to the Nevada Department of Agriculture meal service program, which feeds kids lunch and breakfast at the schools. We are hoping to eliminate the debt that the entire state of Nevada has to do that project, and in that regard, we are donating $500,000 to the program,” Davis said.
Why Help is Needed
The National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are federally assisted meal programs operating in public and non-profit charter schools. If a local family is unable to afford school meals and does not qualify for federal free or reduced-priced meals, the debt is accrued at the school level. The donation by the Las Vegas Raiders will narrow the gap between schools and families who are unable to pay off their student meal debts.
School Nutrition Association’s Pratt- Heavner said this of the importance of providing access to free meals:
“Providing universal free school meals would not only address this issue of unpaid meal charges, but it would recognize the fact that having a healthy meal in the middle of the day is necessary to school achievement. Hungry kids cannot learn.”
A Proud Partnership
The funds are being allocated through the Nevada Community Foundation, which is working in conjunction with the Raiders and the Nevada Department of Agriculture, administrator of the state’s National School Lunch (NSLP) and Breakfast (SBP) Programs.
Gian Brosco, President & CEO, Nevada Community Foundation, said this of the new partnership:
“We are proud to partner with the Las Vegas Raiders as the administrator of the organization’s community fund that will retire the cumulative school meal debt for eligible institutions currently participating in NSLP and SBP with the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
As the newly-minted Las Vegas Raiders begin to prepare for their arrival as the state’s first-ever NFL team, their positive influence over the Las Vegas community nly continues to grow, as evidenced by this significant gesture. We commend Mark Davis for actively seeking opportunities like this that make a real difference for Nevada students and residents.”