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Photo Credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The Chronicle

WWJD #37: Marc Badain’s Impact On Las Vegas

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com

 

When the Raiders sent out a press release shortly after 4:30 pm on Monday I didn’t expect to read what was written. I actually was expecting something else from them, but when I read that Mark Davis has accepted Marc Badain’s resignation, I was shocked.

 

WWJD
Photo Credit: John Locher/AP

Marc Badain had been the Raiders President since 2015 after serving as the interim after Amy Trask resigned in 2013. He was previously the club’s chief financial officer and Trask’s assistant. Badain was tasked to get the Raiders to Las Vegas and played a major role in the building of Allegiant Stadium. Badain was the voice of the Raiders publicly and was extremely generous with his time to fans and media. As recently as last Thursday, Badain gave the Stadium Authority Board an update on the recent events held at the stadium, the concerts for Illenium and Garth Brooks.

Steve Hill, the President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told Mick Ackers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “In a relatively short period of time, Marc led the effort to build Allegiant Stadium, move the Raiders to Vegas. His efforts have made a real difference for our city.” 

The first time I really spoke with Badain was at one of the first Clark County Commission meetings. I was sitting in the back of the room during a break. I had been reporting about the potential Raiders move to Las Vegas for a while and writing and hosting Periscope’s discussing the latest events and what they meant in the grand scheme of things. Badain opened the door, looked at me, stopped, introduced himself, and said a few words about how I was covering the potential move.

As we all know, the city approved Allegiant Stadium being built, and once the NFL officially approved the move to Las Vegas with a 31-1 vote, the Raiders we “all in” on Vegas. Please make no mistake about it, Badain played a major role in all of that happening.

His efforts in helping to build the most magnificent stadium in the sports and entertainment capital of the world will never be forgotten.Raiders owner Mark Davis wrote in a statement.

 

Badain’s role was strictly on the business side of the organization, but he also was the person who would be at most of the public events speaking on the Raiders behalf.

 

It wouldn’t be a shock to go to an event and Badain be there, interacting with the attendees. He was always dressed in a suit with his Raiders pin on his left lapel. Badain is very personable, and it’s easy to see why people like him. That dates back to over 30 years ago, in 1991, when he was hired as an intern driver. He worked his way up the ladder, serving in various roles, including the CFO and eventually the team’s President.

The successful construction and operation of Allegiant Stadium has been unequivocally the most challenging part of my 30 years with the organization,Badain wrote Monday night in a text to myself and other media members. “Seeing it through to the end has been rewarding beyond measure. Together the Raiders and Las Vegas accomplished what seemed impossible. Now that the project is complete it is time for me to focus on my family and look ahead to new pursuits. … Once a Raider always a Raider.”

 

Class, respect, dignity, honesty, and humility. That is how Marc Badain has treated me since we met and continues to do so.

 

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Photo Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images

Like many, I was taken back by his resignation yesterday, and the timing was equally as surprising. With training camp a week away, to say this was unexpected would be an understatement. But should it have been?

Thinking back to a few conversations he and I had, he did mention that he wanted to spend more time with his family on more than one occasion. He would rave about his kids, Ali, Bernie, and Zach, and how much he loved his wife, Amy. So maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised after all.

But one thing I don’t expect is some scandal or salacious story that will raise people’s eyebrows. Some, the same people who would call him a friend and relied on him, have already started to speculate about a “power struggle” within the organization. Why? Why even suggest that when there is no proof or if you have it, you don’t report it? Maybe it was just time for him, and he decided to put his family first and explore other business ventures?

I won’t do that (suggesting that there is something more to him leaving). I’ll take a man at his word and leave it at that. He was Mark Davis‘ right-hand man and helped navigate the Raiders to a new market, one that they own and don’t share with another NFL team, a new stadium, and new heights business-wise.

 

“The Greatness of the Raiders is in its future and the future starts now” – Al Davis

 

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Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

Mark Davis also announced in the same press release that Dan Ventrelle will serve as the interim president. Ventrelle has been with the organization for 17 years, most recently as an executive vice president and general counsel.

His experience on both the football and business sides of the organization make him the best choice to lead the Raiders organization at this time,” Davis said. “The greatness of the Raiders is in its future, and the future starts now.

Despite growing up in Chicago, Ventrelle grew up a Raiders fan. He told GC Magazine in 2017, “Since I was a little kid, I always loved the Raiders. Whenever they played in Chicago – or anywhere close for that matter – I was there. I wore a Raiders jacket to high school every day, I had the jerseys, the gear, anything I could get my hands on.”

I attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate and then Michigan Law School at the same time that Tom Brady was playing quarterback there. Seeing college football at the highest level at those two great places further fuelled my love for football, and my desire to find a role for myself working in the sport,” Ventrelle said. “I cold-called the Raiders’ legal department as my graduation approached, but was told that there were only two lawyers there, neither of whom were ever likely to leave. I’d done some research and knew who their law firm of choice was, so I asked if they’d at least consider passing my résumé on.”

Ventrelle will serve as interim President until a full search for a new permanent president is found through a search process, where he should be a candidate for the full-time title as well.

 

The Raiders will move on, and Marc Badain will move on. For over 30 years the two were joined at the hip and it was a partnership that benefited everyone, including Raider Nation. Everyone who rocks the iconic Silver and Black owes Marc Badain a huge thank you.

 

Peace✌

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– Joe Arrigo

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