After the Raiders leave for Las Vegas, there will be no shortage of football in Oakland. And former Raider and Oakland icon Marshawn Lynch is partially to thank for that.
He joined an ownership group that will bring an indoor, arena football team to the Town.
The team will be called the Panthers, which is a tip of the cap to Oakland’s Black Panther history.
Lynch said he got the idea while watching his brother play a game in the Indoor Football League earlier this year in Arizona and ran into Panthers’ co-owner Roy Choi.
“I went to go check my brother out and I kind of ran into them after the game,” said Lynch. “I had a good-ass time while I was at the game. When they said, ‘We’re going to bring a team to Oakland,’ I didn’t really believe that. [Arena football] wasn’t something I was looking at — not even a little bit. But when the opportunity presented itself — I’m a big dude on believing in timing and [stuff]. This, at the time, really made sense.”
The Panthers will play at the former Oracle Arena, which is now called the Oakland Arena after the Warriors left to play at Chase Center. The season is expected to feature seven home games.
Lynch, a Bay Area native, who retired after last season after two years with the Raiders also added, “the [Raiders] will be leaving, but the fans will be here. This is a good opportunity and a good timing to where you will still have those fans, that community, and the pride they bring.”
The Indoor Football League will kick off it’s next season in February.