The first Raiders Fan Convention outside California drew the largest crowd ever. It was also standing room only at pre- and post-convention events at a local Oakland Raiders hangout.
It might be the off season, but that didn’t stop large crowds from turning out at three high profile Oakland Raiders events in Arizona.
The Raiders Fan Convention was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Phoenix Airport North, on 9 April 2016.
Pre- and post-convention events were held on 8 and 9 April at the Catalina Sports Bar and Grill, the official hangout of the Phoenician Raiders Fan Club.
“It was an action packed weekend!!!” reports Michael Smallwood, President of the Phoenician Raiders Fan Club and Official Accidental Travel Writer Correspondent for Arizona.
“Many People who had to work Saturday came to Catalinas Friday Night to see three-time Super Bowl Champion Cliff Branch.”
The festivities continued the following day at the Raiders Fan Convention, which was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Phoenix Airport North.
“Saturday afternoon, we were happy to find Phoenix Raider Fans whom we had never met,” Michael says.
“They were happy to find out that we were Arizona’s Official Raiders Booster Club and quickly joined.”
Most Popular Raiders Sports Bar
Catalinas is the official hangout of the Phoenician Raiders Fan Club, which was voted the most popular Oakland Raiders sports bar by Readers of the Accidental Travel Writer in 2013.
“Saturday night was more of the same situation with the addition of Former Raiders Assistant Coach George Martinez and Former Raiders Lincoln Kennedy and Mike Davis.”
There were lots of new faces among the regular fans that usually populate Catalinas when the Oakland Raiders are playing.
“We loved the high compliments we were getting from the first timers who observed our ’well decorated’ walls covered with Raider merchandise,” Michael said.
“The most Special Moment of the evening was when Cliff Branch announced that he was donating one of his signed jerseys to put on our walls.
“He made us promise to him that we would hang his jersey next to his deceased former teammate, Gene Upshaw.”
Talk about karma! The Oakland Raiders will play the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix on 12 August during the pre-season.
Oakland Raider fans across the Grand Canyon State are already plotting their strategy to black out the stadium.
“We cannot wait to host our next Raider watch party for all of the new members who joined The Phoenician Raiders Booster Club,” Michael says.
“It was a very special weekend.”
Raiders Fan Convention Phoenix
The weekend’s main event, of course, was the Raiders Fan Convention, which was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Phoenix Airport North.
Raiders Fan Conventions have been held annually in Northern California since 2008. The first RFC in Southern California was held in San Diego in 2013.
This was the first time a RFC was held outside the state of California, and it drew the biggest crowd ever.
Whoever said the Oakland Raiders didn’t have a national following?
“The Raiders Fan Convention in Phoenix was off the charts!” says Mike Sommers, President RFC.
“This was the biggest turn out for an RFC yet (yet!). Many of the attendees plan on going to the Raiders vs Cards this year.”
Does this mean more Raiders Fan Conventions are in the cards (excuse the pun)?
“We would love to and plan to return to Phoenix next year for an even bigger and better event,” Mike says.
“Please ask everyone to go to Raiders Fan Convention and join our mailing list so we can email them the dates of future events!”
Chris Stashik is the Official Accidental Travel Writer Correspondent for Greater Los Angeles and the Central Valley.
She drove nearly five hours across the dessert to attend the Raiders Fan Convention in Phoenix, where she spent two nights.
“Mike Sommers is the King of the RFC Raider Fan Convention,” Chris says.
“This was the first in Phoenix, and over 800 people showed up. That is amazing!”
Oakland Raider Legend Cliff Branch was the headliner, and his table had consistent lines the whole six hours that the Raiders Fan Convention was in session.
“The Holiday Inn had a great setup for quick access for food, and we had our own private bar,” Chris says.
“Several bands played including one all the way from Hawaii. Plenty of vendors, raffles, and a lot of money for Charity. Raider Nation Rocks