The Las Vegas Raiders will finally be able to welcome thousands of fans to their new home – Allegiant Stadium – over the coming months. Despite the team’s move from Oakland to Vegas in 2020, the $1.9 billion facility in Paradise, Nevada was closed to fans to attend in person during the entire 2020 NFL campaign due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions put into place by the state. Indeed, team owner Mark Davis vowed not to attend any games at the venue until spectators were also allowed to.
Now, with an extended 17-game regular season around the corner, Vegas fans will be able to see the action unfold in person, almost four years since construction on the 62-acre site began. Hopes are high for a winning season after the Raiders went 8-8, finishing 2nd in the AFC West last year. Pennsylvania online sports betting providers like FanDuel offer -160 on the franchise winning over 6.5 regular season games in the upcoming campaign and +350 to make the play-offs, which were expanded in 2020 to include 14 of the League’s 32 teams.
There is a maximum capacity of 65,000 for football games, although that is expandable to 72,000 in the future. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is confident of full stadia in the season to come. The stadium is also home to the UNLV Rebels football program, replacing Sam Boyd Stadium which had hosted the University of Nevada team since it opened in 1971. The Rebels were able to welcome supporters to the delayed start of their Mountain West Conference season, but a maximum of only 2,000 spectators were permitted given the restrictions that remained in place during 2020.
Allegiant Stadium, nicknamed “The Death Star” by the team’s owner has a highlight reel of events planned for 2021 now that spectators are permitted to attend. On August 1 the stadium held the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final which saw the Men’s US National Team triumph 1-0 over Mexico after extra time. 61,514 spectators were in attendance to see Gregg Berhalter’s side win the trophy.
The brand-new facility has been chosen as the venue for multiple high-profile football events since it opened. Back in June 2020, the NFL announced that the 2021 Pro Bowl would be heading to Vegas, although the game was deferred to 2022. During 2021, Allegiant Stadium will also host the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, the Las Vegas Bowl, and the Vegas Kick-off Classic between BYU Cougars and the Arizona Wildcats.
As well as the NFL and College Football schedule, this promises to be a destination venue for a variety of other events too. WWE Summerslam, Guns N’ Roses and the Rolling Stones will all be in attendance over the coming months. Other sporting contests planned include the Las Vegas Rugby Cup and the 2021 Leagues Cup which sees teams from MLS and Liga MX square off in a single-elimination tournament.
Despite a delayed start to welcoming fans to one of Vegas’ newest attractions and the rising cost of attending an NFL game in person, Allegiant Stadium appears to be set for a glittering array of events over the next few years.