Dubbed the “Death Star” — referring to the “Star Wars” supership — by Raiders owner Mark Davis, the $2 billion stadium officially opened in July after about two years of construction. The state-of-the-art facility’s NFL debut marks the beginning of a new era for the Raiders, who had spent their entire 60-year history in the state of California.
While fans will get their first glimpse of pro football in Las Vegas on Monday night with ESPN’s televised coverage of the game, crowds won’t be in attendance for the foreseeable future. Like most NFL teams, the Raiders are playing without fans for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The bright lights, the natural grass in a domed stadium, the spectacular locker room, it’s a state-of-the-art facility,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden told the Associated Press. “It’s got everything you can imagine, and I can’t wait to share it with our fans. It’s a lot different than Alameda. No disrespect to the old stadium, but it’s a lot different.”
Allegiant Stadium’s $2 billion price tag included $750 million in taxpayer money. Raiders owner Mark Davis paid a record $350 million relocation fee to bring the franchise to Las Vegas.
The 65,000-seat domed facility touts cashless concession stands, retractable windows and a silver-and-black color scheme to match the Raiders’ uniforms.
Allegiant Stadium is one of two new NFL facilities to make their debut this season. The $5 billion SoFi Stadium, home to the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, hosted its first-ever game last weekend.
On the filed, the Raiders will have their work cut out for them playing against the high-powered New Orleans Saints.