Raiders Hope to Fly High at Allegiant
The Las Vegas Raiders found a pricey piece of real estate to call home this season in Paradise. Yes, the Raiders are from Oakland no longer and will heretofore be referred to as the Las Vegas Raiders after the franchise broke ground on their new facility in January of 2018. According to sources, the overall budget for the project was in the neighborhood of $1.9 billion (nice neighborhood) with $1.3 billion spent on the construction of the stadium while the land cost an estimated $78 million and another $488 million was spent on design and engineering, furniture, equipment, fixtures, utilities, and a practice facility. Naming rights were granted to Allegiant Travel, the parent company of Allegiant Air, and will span the next 30 years.
Davis and the Raiders sold their partially-constructed headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, in February of this year to Mesirow Financial for $191 million in a sale-and-leaseback on the real estate. Immediately following the sale, the Raiders inked a 29-year lease on their headquarters, with 10-year options to extend for a maximum of 99 years. The Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, which officially opened in June of 2020, is the name of the franchise’s new headquarters.
The stadium was completed in July of 2020 and running back Jalen Richard was impressed when he toured the facility, “I haven’t seen a stadium that looks like this ever,” Richard said. “It’s blacked out. It looks like a nice limousine or a blacked-out H2 Hummer. It just looks nice and big and aggressive. And then you get inside and it’s just beautiful. I definitely won’t take none of this for granted.”
Allegiant Stadium will open for its inaugural season without any fans to enjoy the games due to the global pandemic.
The organization issued the following statement, “There is nothing more important to the Raider Organization than the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, stadium workers and fans,” the club said in the statement. “After intensive consultation with healthcare officials and state and community leaders, we have made the difficult decision to play the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium without fans in attendance. This decision is based on our commitment to protect the health of our fans and the entire community in response to the coronavirus pandemic affecting us all.
“This decision also ensures fairness to you, our PSL holders, given the challenges and potential inequities associated with determining who can and cannot attend specific games if the stadium were to operate at a reduced capacity. While the current situation is not how any of us envisioned celebrating the opening of Allegiant Stadium when circumstances permit we look forward to sharing an unparalleled game day experience in the magnificent stadium you helped build.”
Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis, has repeatedly stated that if fans are not allowed inside then he won’t attend the games either.
Welcome to the Death Star
After nearly $2 billion and years of seeking approval from the NFL, as well as, local and state governing bodies to move to Vegas, owner Mark Davis and his new Sin City fanbase have high hopes for the Raiders in the 2020 season. Allegiant Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility and it will house the league’s most nefarious franchise in a city known for nefarious characters.
Davis had a 95-foot torch constructed, honoring his late father, Al Davis, and founder of the Raiders, inside the stadium. As he stood below the towering inferno, his address to his team was beamed across three massive jumbotrons and he stated the following, “Welcome to the Death Star, where our opponents’ dreams come to die. My father always said that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future. Well, today that future really starts. This magnificent stadium was built on the backs of thousands of players, coaches, administrators, and fans, who for the past 60 years have proudly worn the Silver and Black. This is our field of dreams. This is our house.
“This stadium’s personality will be defined by you. You are the Raiders. There’ll be many personal accomplishments out here on this field. Someone on this field today will make the first tackle. Somebody will score the first touchdown. And somebody will make the first interception. But most importantly, it’s what we do as a team.”