Anyone living in Las Vegas these last few months is sure to have heard the slogan “Viva Los Raiders” bandied around, as Sin City ramps up its efforts to welcome its very own NFL franchise.
The move has so far garnered a mixed response from football fans and the public in general, with some wondering whether a $2 billion mega-stadium is really the way to kickstart the local economy.
However, despite such lingering doubts, one thing that is for sure is that the new Allegiant Stadium will be a sight for sore eyes when it hosts its first NFL home game.
Here is a rundown of what fans can expect from the stadium’s matchday experience as well as what Raiders home games may do to inject further life into the Las Vegas strip.
State-of-the-Art does not do this Stadium Justice
Before we weigh the pros and cons of this colossally expensive piece of sports entertainment hardware, it is important to acknowledge just what the stadium is capable of.
First, there is the capacity, which has been kept to a rather moderate 65,000, meaning that those who do have matchday tickets will be treated to an extra luxurious and spacious experience. The seating is steeply banked meaning the atmosphere should be red hot and the pitch is retractable, so it can be kept in perfect condition outside and then brought indoors when play is due to start.
On top of all this, the stadium will boast an adaptable frontage, meaning that on cool nights guests have an incredible view over the Las Vegas strip and on warm days it can be closed to regulate heat.
Good News for Local Business
One sector that is very much looking forward to an NFL franchise being in town are local sportsbooks, whose clients can now even bet from the comfort of their Allegiant Stadium seat via an array of online sites or apps, as well as back at the land-based resorts.
Another added bonus for sports books and other local businesses alike is that a matchday in Vegas is likely to draw fans of both the Raiders and the teams they host, as fans from all over the country use the opportunity to pay the famous strip a visit while their beloved team is in town. This has been evidenced by the success of the Golden Knights NHL franchise, who since moving to Las Vegas have ranked in the top 5 of highest-earning NHL franchises.
Other World-Famous Events Will Come to Town
There are hopes that, aside from the eight NFL regular-season home games the stadium is guaranteed to host, there will also be added revenue brought in from other sports and live entertainment.
There have already been noises made about a potential Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury heavyweight fight taking place in the stadium, as well as the golden goose of them all: the Super Bowl itself.
Will the Raiders Repay the Local Community?
The main worry with the new stadium is that the Raiders have been cagey about letting on who has gotten their hands on the rather pricey season tickets.
Suspicions abound that many of the hotel resorts have bought tickets up so that their concierge services can sell them on to their guests, which may lead to reduced quality in atmosphere, leaving true fans resigned to watching games in the city’s many sports bars. No bad thing for local bars, but doubtless a hindrance to the team getting the verbal backing it needs.
There is also the small issue of the $750 million in public funds that were used to sweeten the deal for the Raiders to relocate to the desert. It remains to be seen if this was money well spent; in a city with a small population in comparison to others, the franchise could have upped sticks to.