Niners GM Lynch to Raiders fans: ‘Jump on our train’

17 Apr


If any Raiders fan wants to switch allegiances after the team’s announcement it will move to Las Vegas, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch would welcome you with open arms.

“Part of me says, I think it’s good for us,” Lynch said Monday on NFL Network from the Annual League Meeting in Las Vegas. “Raider fans, we’re open for business, you know! Come and jump on our train. But the Raiders are a great brand and I think it kind of transcends the location. I’m sure a lot of those people will go down to Vegas and have a good time supporting in the future.”

Even Raiders fans fed up with the franchise moving from Oakland for the second time would likely have a hard time rooting for the team across the bay. Simple optics of the 2017 season suggest that would be an even more difficult switch to make this year — even if one were willing. The Raiders could contend for a Super Bowl berth. The 49ers look to be on track to compete for the No. 1 pick in 2018.


Niners CEO Jed York isn’t expecting a wave of ex-Raiders fans to fill his stands.

Raiders fans, they’re loyal to the Raiders,” York said, via ESPN.com. “They’re very different than 49ers fans, and there’s not a ton of overlap where you would see different teams kind of go from one to another. You just haven’t seen that, and I wouldn’t expect it going forward. It’s going to be an interesting thing to see how the move goes, and I think it will be good for the Raiders in the long run. I tip my hat to (Raiders owner) Mark (Davis) and his team. They got knocked out of the Los Angeles running and they picked themselves up and they found an opportunity to get a stadium project up and running.”

York added that when the Raiders eventually leave Oakland, the 49ers could move their community work into the East Bay to fill some of the void.

“We might do more in terms of philanthropic outreach and some of the things that we do in the community,” York said. “Obviously, there are underserved areas in the East Bay, and I think that’s a place where we’ll probably try to do more in the long run, but that’s not necessarily — we’re not trying to drum up business from the East Bay.

“We have an unbelievable fan base. I don’t think this is going to be a big financial boon for the 49ers, but I think it’s something that for the Raiders, they have stabilized their team for the next 20 years, and I think that’s going to be a good thing for the league overall.”

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