Retired football player Marshawn Lynch has elevated his status from player to owner. He is co-owner of the newly named Oakland Panthers, an arena football team that will be playing at the Oakland Arena (formerly Oracle Arena) this upcoming spring. The Panthers name is a nod to Oakland’s Black Panthers history of the 1960s.
With The Oakland Raiders slated to leave the Bay Area and moving their operations to Las Vegas next season, ex-Raider Lynch felt the city shouldn’t be without a professional football team.
“I believe the power of football has the ability to transform a community and the families who live there,” Lynch said in a statement. “I’ve seen it and lived it. I’m excited that Da’ Town will get another team to call its own. I attended some Indoor Football games last year and had a good ass time. The games have lots of fluidity, and tickets are priced so that the entire family can check it out.”
— IndoorFootballLeague (@IndoorFtballLge) September 11, 2019
Two years ago, National Football League team owners, in a nearly unanimous vote (31–1), agreed to allow the Raiders to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. The Oakland Panthers, part of the Indoor Football League, are stepping in to fill the void.
“I went to go check my brother out and I kind of ran into them after the game,” Lynch told The Mercury News about co-owner Roy Choi (an entertainment and gaming entrepreneur) and team president Scott McKibben. “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.”
“My whole intention was to come back and play with them until they left,” Lynch, 33, said, according to The Mercury News. “[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.”
For more information on ticket sales, sponsorships, player transactions, and everything having to do with the Oakland Panthers, you can check them out at www.Oakland-Panthers.com. For information on the Indoor Football League, go to www.GoIFL.com.