Oakland Raiders nearing sell-out of season tickets

Oakland Raiders Mark DavisALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders are approaching selling out all available season tickets for the first time in franchise history, owner Mark Davis told ESPN Sunday.

“We’re excited as hell,” Davis said. “Again, we’ve got the greatest fans in the world. The Raider Nation is strong.”

The team has grown its season ticket holder base from 30,000 in 2013 to 37,000 in 2014 to 42,200 last season. Through Sunday, the figure has grown even larger, just south of 50,000, according to Raiders president Marc Badain. That represents a 67 percent increase in membership. Their stadium seats a capacity near 53,250.

While their cross-town rival San Francisco 49ers have seen an increase in members trying to unload their PSL licenses, the Raiders uptick in sales can likely be linked to the responsible drafting and development by general manager Reggie McKenzie. His 2014 draft class — quarterback Derek Carr; linebacker Khalil Mack; guard Gabe Jackson; and defensive tackle Justin Ellis — have all had a direct and significant impact on the Raiders’ rebirth.

Additionally, McKenzie further bolstered his roster with the free agency signings of Bruce Irvin, Kelechi Osemele, Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson.

With the 2016 season in front of them, and with the offseason training program already well underway, the Raiders have signed a one-year lease to remain at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum for the 2016 season. The deal also carries two one-year extension options for 2017 and 2018, though the team just saw its rent for the stadium and its training facility triple during the offseason.

Owner Mark Davis has also been shopping multiple destinations to move his team out of Oakland, most recently floating the idea of moving the team to Las Vegas. The Raiders could still join the Los Angeles Rams as co-tenants in Southern California should the Chargers opt to remain in San Diego— Davis is reportedly scheduled to attend a meeting of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee on Thursday.

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