49ers general manager Lynch welcomes Raiders fans to 'come jump on our train'
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has enticed Oakland Raiders fans to support his team as the NFL franchise prepare to relocate to Las Vegas.
On Monday, NFL owners approved the Raiders' proposal to leave the Bay Area for Vegas and a $1.9billion domed stadium set to open in time for the 2020 season.
It has left the 49ers as the only NFL team remaining in the Bay Area and Lynch could not help but call out to Raiders fans, reminding them that the last time San Francisco were the only team in the region, they won four Super Bowls.
"Part of me says I think it's good for us," Lynch told the NFL Network. "Raider fans, we're open for business. Come and jump on our train.
"But the Raiders are a great brand and I think it kind of transcends the location. I'm sure a lot of those people will go down to Vegas and have a good time supporting them in the future."
The Raiders settled in Los Angeles from 1982-94, and during that time the 49ers set up a huge dynasty, winning championships in 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994.
San Francisco also had their first title in 1981, setting the stage for the golden era.
It is a far cry from this past season when the team went 2-14, leading to the firing of general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly.
Lynch, who was hired to replace Baalke two months ago, said he understands how the Raiders community feels about losing a team.
"I live in San Diego and know what a community goes through. It's fresh and there's a lot of emotion that goes into this," Lynch said. "That's become a fabric of who they are as a family. I grew up a Charger fan. I used to go. We were season ticket holders. So it hurt me before I was doing this and still now, I'm a Charger fan. And so that hurts.
"First of all, I empathise with the people of Oakland because I know what you're going through and it's not easy," Lynch added. "I'm sure there's a lot of anger and all that. I think the owners did what they felt was best for the league."