The Allegiant Stadium is a brand-new venue built to house NFL franchise the Las Vegas Raiders.
The smart, glass-fronted and futuristic-looking stadium is situated near the Mandalay Bay hotel on the other side of the freeway at Paradise, Las Vegas.
As well as being home to the Raiders, the Allegiant Stadium also hosts the Rebels college football team, who represent the University of Las Vegas.
The Allegiant, which began construction back in late 2017, was finally issued its official certificate of occupancy in July 2020. Shortly after this, the two football teams moved in. The new stadium was required following the Raiders’ move from Oakland, California.
History of the Allegiant Stadium
The Raiders franchise was founded in 1960 and was originally based in Oakland, California. It had already moved home once in its history, to Los Angeles between 1982 and 1994, before heading back to Oakland.
Team Owner Mark Davis had been trying for years to move the team permanently, or to replace the Oakland Coliseum which was thought of as one of the worst NFL venues around. Finally, after an annual league meeting in 2017, NFL owners approved their move to Vegas.
Davis had visited Las Vegas often and entered negotiations on land there in 2016. The Raiders purchased land at Russell Road for some $77.5 million and work began on building a 10-level stadium. The stadium was to have a fluorine-based plastic roof, silver and black to the outside and featuring light-up strips.
Construction started in November 2017 and was declared complete in July 2020 by Clark County. The Raiders held a closed-door practice in the August. Davis has nicknamed the Allegiant Stadium “The Death Star”.
During the project, the names Raiders Stadium or Las Vegas Stadium had been used. However, with a need to recoup at least some of the huge $1.9 billion cost, naming rights were sold. A deal was struck with the parent company of Vegas-based Allegiant Air, and the stadium got its current moniker.
Important Facts and Figures
This new mega-project has resulted in a fantastic design and an imposing-looking build. It is now a feature of the famous Las Vegas backdrop. Here are some of the statistics and facts that bring it all together.
- Opened: July 31st, 2020. Construction began in November 2017.
- Owner: Las Vegas Stadium Authority, part of the Clark County Commission which governs the whole of Clark County where Vegas sits.
- Total Cost: $1.9 billion. Even when converted to pounds (£1.44 billion), it dwarfs the cost of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
- Capacity: 65,000 for NFL games, expandable to 72,000. When soccer games are played here there is to be a reported capacity of 61,000.
- Playing Surface: Bermuda Grass, meaning the Raiders will play on a natural grass surface. When the college team is in action, the synthetic FieldTurf surface will be used.
Major Events at the Allegiant
The owners and operators of this stadium have wasted no time in attempting to get some major events brought in.
As well as the Raiders playing their NFL games here in future, the stadium has made a big early splash in the college football ranks.
The Pac-12 Football Championship game, the game that crowns each year’s conference champion, will be moved from the Levi’s Stadium in California and played at the Allegiant in 2021. It was originally scheduled for 2020 but was pushed back due to COVID-19.
The Las Vegas Bowl, which features the Pac-12 against a team from another athletic conference, will now move from the old Sam Boyd Stadium eleven miles away east of Las Vegas. This is an annual event which will immediately provide some guaranteed revenue for the stadium.
Football events at the Allegiant aren’t confined to the college levels either. The NFL’s Pro Bowl, the league’s all-star game, will be held here in 2022. It was due to be earlier, though everything was pushed back due to the pandemic.
The first music gig booked in was country legend Garth Brooks who will perform here in 2021. WrestleMania, Monster Jam, UFC and even the Super Bowl are all under discussion.
Given that it is located so close to the Las Vegas strip, it is thought that major boxing bouts may one day be hosted at the Allegiant.
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