After years of talk, the Raiders should finally be moving to Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL season. It’s not the first time the team has left Oakland, but this time, it feels like it will be the last. With the bright lights of Vegas on the horizon, things are about to change for Raider Nation. The Oakland Coliseum, though a legendary structure, is largely considered one of the worst sports venues around.
Mark Davis and the NFL have invested heavily in the Las Vegas stadium to ensure that it becomes one of the hottest tickets in town. While the team is saying goodbye to the Bay Area, the team will never forget its roots.
“There’s no question about it,” Davis said to NBC Sports. “The Raiders and Oakland grew up together. We were the stepchild of San Francisco. We were just Oakland. And I believe my dad took special pride in that and in building it up.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland, and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. There’s no doubt about that.”
There will always be unease for the team and a fan base when a franchise like the Raiders move. Below we’re going to go through everything that you need to know about the team’s new stadium in Las Vegas.
1. It Will Be Called Allegiant Stadium
Raider fans lovingly named the Las Vegas stadium the “Death Star” before it was given an official name. It was announced back in August that the team has partnered with Allegiant Airlines and the stadium will simply be called “Allegiant Stadium.” The airline is also based out of Las Vegas and considering Sin City is a huge tourist destination, the partnership makes a lot of sense for the team.
“We’re thrilled that our future home will be known as Allegiant Stadium,” said Raiders
President Marc Badain, via press release. “As the hometown airline, Allegiant is the perfect partner to showcase the incredible support we continue to receive from the Southern Nevada community. We are grateful to all involved who worked diligently to make Allegiant Stadium a reality.”
The naming rights deal the Raiders scored with Allegiant was the biggest in the NFL, according to Forbes.
Follow the Heavy Oakland Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
2. There Is Concern Over Tailgating
Allegiant Stadium will certainly be a marvel to look at, but not every fan is happy. The stadium, which will seat 65,000 people, only has 2,725 on-site parking spaces, which is very concerning for tailgaters. However, team president Marc Badain has dispelled the notion that this was going to be a problem.
“Every lot that we have control over will both encourage and allow tailgating,” he said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Some of the property owners that we’ve talked to will also allow tailgating. Some lots won’t.
“We’ll have enough for our fan base that wants to tailgate and wants to tailgate within close proximity to the stadium,” he said.
Tailgating is an important part of the experience for Raider fans, but it sounds like a lot of the worry is unfounded.
3. Construction Should Be Finished by July 31, 2020
The Allegiant Stadium website simply says that it will be finished in 2020. That’s a very broad window, but a report from KNTV indicates that it should be opening by July 31, 2020. Chief Operating Officer of Allegiant Stadium Don Webb seemed confident back in November that there wouldn’t be any delay despite there being rumors that a couple of snags had been hit.
“If I had a dollar for every stupid rumor, I’d be able to fund a big expansion here,” said Webb. “They didn’t simply come and say ‘Well, we’re gonna be 60 days late in delivering the stadium.’ That’s unthinkable. They’ve never missed a deadline.”
As long as the project is finished before the start of the 2020 NFL season, the Raiders shouldn’t be too concerned. July 31st is cutting it really close as the preseason usually starts in early August.
4. Raiders Have Made $400 Million in Seat Licensing Sales
Any concerns about the Raiders filling up seats in the new stadium are quickly getting mitigated. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the team is off to a strong start in selling seat licenses:
During a Las Vegas Stadium Authority board meeting on [November 18th], it was revealed that the NFL team has accounted for $399.3 million in the sale of the licenses, which are required for the right to purchase season tickets at Allegiant Stadium. It is nonrefundable.
Those numbers mean that the team is essentially sold out of season tickets for their first year in Las Vegas. Now, only a limited number of season tickets are available each year. It will remain to be seen how well the team can fill up that giant stadium. It’s a very good start for the team, but they still need to make sure that they can get casual fans to come to games.
5. The Stadium Is Only a Couple of Miles From the Strip
The Raiders truly will be the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s not going to be like how the New York Giants and Jets don’t actually play in New York or how the San Francisco 49ers actually play in Santa Clara. You’ll be able to see Mandalay Bay from the Stadium’s parking lot as it’s just across the freeway from The Strip. This fact is certainly going to make the Raiders a massive tourist attraction.
People looking to go on vacation will be able to enjoy shows and casinos on Saturday and then watch an NFL game on Sunday. It will certainly offer a unique experience for visitors. It has to be a concern that games will be filled with many non-Raider fans, but if the team starts to win, that shouldn’t become too much of a problem. Raider fans travel well and are loyal. Many fans that still call Los Angeles home will actually have an easier time making the trek to games now. The NFL has never been in Las Vegas, so there are still many unknowns. The Raiders will certainly be an interesting team to watch in 2020.
READ NEXT: Jaguars’ Doug Marrone Recounts Epic Memories About the Oakland Coliseum