Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas Raiders
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Allegiant Stadium 3333 Al Davis Way Paradise, NV 89118
Year Opened: 2020
What Happens In Vegas….Happens At Allegiant Stadium
After a year’s delay of opening for fans due to the pandemic, Allegiant Stadium made its debut in front of a live audience during the 2021 NFL season. Allegiant Stadium is the brainchild of the late Al Davis, the longtime owner/managing partner of the Raiders organization. From the time you see the shining black and silver exterior of the building (aka The Death Star), you can see his input into the design of the facility. Everything in the stadium, including the bathrooms, is painted one of three colors…white, black, or silver. One addition made to the stadium after the senior Davis’ death is a 92-foot-tall memorial torch atop the northern end of the stadium. The torch was built using 3-D technology and is currently the largest 3-D printed object in the world. The $1.8 billion stadium certainly offers all the bells and whistles you would expect of any major building going up in Las Vegas.
The 65,000-seat stadium features 127 suites and 8,000 club seats spread out over ten levels of seating. One of its most important features is a transparent ETFE roof, which allows spectators to escape the oppressively hot temperatures Las Vegas can experience throughout the year. This also allows the stadium to have a natural grass playing surface, another feature the old school Davis insisted on in the design. Allegiant Stadium uses a similar system to State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, where the 19-million-pound retractable natural turf surface is transported into the stadium via a tray-like structure that can move the grass inside for events and outside to receive adequate sun and water when the stadium is not in use.
Food & Beverage 4
Allegiant Field has one of the most diverse sets of concessions offerings in the NFL.
Hot dog and burger lovers can choose from Neon Dogs and Holsteins Shakes and Buns (Gold Standard burgers for $16, Nom Nom burgers with cheddar cheese and thousand island sauces for $16 and Veggie Burgers for $16 or Fukuburgers. Pizza is available at Pizza Rock, Evel Pie and Pizza Squared. Mexican offerings include Viva Las Noches, and BBQ Mexicana (Avocado Chicken Burritos, Smoked Brisket Burritos and a BLTA Wrap for $15 each, BBQ Pork Skins or Chips and Salsa for $8) and Mexican Specialties. Other stands include Rollin’ Smoke BBQ (Pulled Piggie, Chopped Brisket or Smoked Chicken for $15 and Kickin’ BBQ Beans for $3), and Graffico Bao Chinese. Your typical stadium food is available at the Taste of the Nations Tailgate Favorites stands (Raider Dogs for $7, souvenir soft drinks for $8 and water for $6).
Adult beverages are available at Hop Valley (Hop Valley IPA’s for $13, Domestic canned beers for $13, premium canned beers for $15 and wine for $12) the Modelo Cantina Club, Casamingos Tequila Lounge, Las Vegas’ Area 419 (out of this world adult beverages) or the Blue Moon Brewing Company.
Sin City fans have waited an extra year to meet their new team in person and the energy and excitement in the stands is off the charts. Las Vegas residents proved they are definitely “big league” when it comes to sports as they have proven with the NHL Black Knights and now the Raiders. They have quickly adopted the black and silver colors of the Raiders and filled the stadium for each game thus far. Members of the “Black Hole” from Oakland have not turned their back on the team, as they make the quick flight from the Bay area to create havoc for the visiting team.
Several of the local casinos have purchased suites or memberships in the many premium clubs at Allegiant Stadium to entertain many of their biggest clients as well. The private areas of the stadium are filled with a virtual gallery of Raiders-themed art with a Vegas twist (how about Elvis in a Raiders jersey or Marilyn Monroe in a Raiderette outfit?).
The stadium also salutes the excellence of the Raiders organization through a very impressive Raider’s Hall of Fame as well as oversized tickets from each of the Raider’s three Super Bowl appearances. The black, silver, and white color scheme of the entire Allegiant Stadium complex pulls all these elements together.
There is no stadium in the NFL that is closer to more than 200 hotels, the top talent in the entertainment industry, wonderful restaurants, and sunny weather throughout the year than Allegiant Stadium. It is located at the southern end of the Las Vegas strip, just across I-15 (Frank Sinatra Drive) from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The stadium is within easy walking distance of all the casinos, hotels, and entertainment venues that Las Vegas is famous for. Shuttles run along the Strip on gamedays, providing direct service to the stadium.
No matter what time the game starts and ends, you will find plenty of things to see and do in Vegas… as it is truly open 24 hours a day. The city welcomes “the bad boy” Raiders with open arms as the city prides itself on being an adult playground. Las Vegas proved it was ready for professional sports a few years ago when the Las Vegas Blacks Knights stunned the NFL with sellout crowds and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The one element that has changed the most in the move from Oakland to Las Vegas is its fanbase. Raider Nation in Oakland was known as the most rabid fanbase in the league. It was probably most famous for the Black Hole, a seating area in the end zone so intimidating their own mothers would be scared to sit there. They wore outfits with chains, faux spikes on their biker jackets, and skull imagery. Most went by nicknames rather than by their given names. They were the embodiment of what Al Davis was… a rebel amongst a bunch of establishment billionaire owners. Davis famously took in players that had been let go from other teams due to their recklessness both on and off the field. Frankly, the franchise did not leave Oakland due to lack of fan support… it was because they could not get a new stadium deal, a problem the Oakland A’s are still experiencing.
This is not a dig at the new fans the Raiders are cultivating in Las Vegas. After all, many people refer to it as “Sin City”. However, Raiders fans in Las Vegas tend to be more prosperous than they were in Oakland. A big reason for this is the PSL’s required to help finance the new stadium. This typically prices out the blue-collar workers that formed the Raider Nation in Oakland. Tickets now are used to reward the big spenders that are drawn to Vegas by the casinos. Rowdy behavior was expected at the Oakland Coliseum, in Las Vegas, that same behavior might get you ejected. Most of the fans in Las Vegas are employed in the hospitality industry… which is famous for welcoming visitors, while the Oakland fans enjoyed intimidating them.
Las Vegas has proven that it has great sports fans… as the NHL hockey franchise has flourished in this desert oasis. They also fill Allegiant Stadium every Sunday despite the high cost of a PSL and some of the highest ticket prices in the league. It is simply too early to determine what the fanbase in Las Vegas will become…. and it is unfair to compare them to the Raider Nation of old. Despite the pain and the high cost of tickets, many of the Oakland contingents are still making the trek south to Las Vegas to cheer on their former team. To sum up our score for fans, it is simply a tale of two cities and two distinctly different fanbases.
Allegiant Stadium is easily accessible from virtually anywhere in Las Vegas. It is located only 4 miles from the city’s McCarran International Airport and is within walking distance of many of the hotels/casinos at the southern end of the Strip. Shuttles will also travel up and down the Strip on gamedays to pick up fans.
Fans driving to the games will also find the stadium is very easy to get to as it is right next to I-15. From the north: Take I-15 southbound to Tropicana Avenue. Take exit 37 to Tropicana West. Turn left at Dean Martin Drive, then right onto Al Davis Way. From the south: Take I-15 northbound to Russell Road exit (Exit 36). Follow the signs to Tropicana Avenue, turning left at West Tropicana. Turn left on Dean Martin Drive then a right on Al Davis Way.
McCarran International Airport offers nonstop service to virtually every big city in the US. As the title sponsor of the stadium, Allegiant Airlines offers special deals on Las Vegas flights when the Raiders play at home.
Return on Investment 3
As Las Vegas enters its second year in the NFL, it will be the first time their home fans will see the team in action on their home turf. During the pandemic season, no fans were allowed inside Allegiant Stadium. Due to this year-long delay, the demand for tickets has gone through the roof. During the 2021 season, the only way someone will be able to buy a ticket to a game in Vegas is on the secondary market. Don’t be surprised to see tickets anywhere in the stadium to go for less than several hundred dollars. The food concessions prices can vary greatly, as some of the vendors are run by celebrity chefs, while others is run by the more typical stadium food vendors. Another factor in budgeting for a game in Vegas is the cost of lodging. Hotels that have casinos and name entertainment and are situated on the strip are much more expensive and add a “resort fee” on top of your room price. If you travel just a few blocks off the strip you will find the familiar name-brand hotels that are perfectly decent at a fraction of the price.
One thing to remember about Las Vegas… if you have a good night at the tables your gameday expenses will just seem to fade away!
Allegiant Stadium also serves as the home of UNLV college football, the PAC 12 Championship Game, and the Las Vegas Bowl.
The stadium plans to hold major concerts in the venue during the off-season. Stadium officials also plan to bid on major events, including the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and major conventions. They also plan to campaign for an MLS franchise for Las Vegas.
Another unique feature of the stadium is retractable curtain-like windows atop the northern end of the stadium that faces out towards the Las Vegas Strip, resulting in stunning views at night when the Strip is lit up.
Allegiant Stadium has the first sports betting lounge of any stadium in the NFL (it is Las Vegas, after all!).
As you would expect in a city known for extravagant lighting, Allegiant Stadium offers a top-of-the-line electronics package. There are large videoboards located at each end of the stadium, with ribbon boards encircling the seating areas.
Las Vegas continues to build on its reputation as a great sports town. Now that the NHL and NFL have established themselves in the Fantasyland in the Desert… it will only a matter of time before you see the Super Bowl, the Final Four and other major sporting events played in Allegiant Stadium…you can bet on that!