Mark Davis looks back before Raiders' final game in Oakland

Raiders owner Mark Davis famously calls the Raiders parking lot before a Sunday game "the largest nondenominational gathering in the country. You don't get any fans better than this."

Today will mark the end for the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum, as they're set to play their final home game in the city of Oakland before they move to Las Vegas in 2020.

To honor the occasion, some of the greats will be in town, including Tim Brown, Charles Woodson, Tom Flores, Jim Plunkett, Jim Otto and others. There will be a highlight package on the Jumbotron among the festivities.

Asked what he plans to do to take in the moment, Davis said he was, "Going to try to win the game. Try to see if we can get in the playoffs."

In a conversation with, Davis spent some time reminiscing about the last 16 years that followed a somewhat briefer stint in Los Angeles.

"There are many (memories), so many great times," Davis said this week. "I'd say the first 16 years are filled with a lot of magic, the second 16 years, not so much. If you want a more recent memory, the Thursday night game against the Chiefs (in 2014). We were 0-10 and it was pouring rain and the crowd showed up, and that was quite an event that night. That meant quite a bit to me and the organization. That was a great night, that was a great memory."

That game, with quarterback Derek Carr hitting James Jones for the final TD, was the first victory as the organization began to turn it around. That regime eventually went to the playoffs in 2016, but it started that night.

Among his memories for the pre-Los Angeles stint, Davis recalled "The Heidi Game" and the 1976 AFC title game "that was about getting over the hump."

There are countless others.

And sure, there is some bittersweet sentiment there in regards to how it ended, the move to Vegas, all of it. But Davis can still take it in.

"The Raiders were born in Oakland, and Oakland will always be part of our DNA," he said. "We also got 13 years in Los Angeles. That will also be part of our DNA and now we've got 30 years ahead of us in Las Vegas. I love the Raider Nation. Always have. I have never had a problem with them and I don't think they've ever had a problem with me. Obviously a lot of them are disappointed that we are moving the franchise at this point in time, and I can imagine some of them are upset, but they love the Raiders. They are a part of it."

Davis recently drove by the new Vegas home of the Raiders -- Allegiant Stadium. He described it as fantastic.

"They call it the Death Star, some of the fans are calling it the Death Star," he said. "It's a beautiful black glass building with black ribbons going around it with a few touches of silver. It's going to be just fantastic."

As for the 2019 season, Davis said the thing he thinks about most is how many greats the organization has lost. That has been difficult.

As for the record, the Raiders sit at 6-7 after racing out to a 6-4 start while playing over their heads in a transition year. With a strong rookie class, the future appears bright as they attempt to build back up.

"Although we haven't reached the goals that we're hoping to achieve," Davis said, "we're definitely making progress. It's hard for the outside world to see it. And I don't blame them for thinking we haven't gotten there, because we haven't gotten there yet. But I'm excited about what we're building."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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