The Las Vegas Raiders have waited for years to move to Las Vegas and open up the beautiful and state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium. While that will still happen this year, the new stadium could be without fans when the NFL stadium begins.
As NFL teams continue adjusting plans for stadium attendance this fall during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is beginning to settle in for Raiders owner Mark Davis. With the opener fast approaching, the Raiders might now have to play in a building without fans.
Will fans be allowed at NFL games?
The New York Giants and New York Jets have already announced fans won’t be allowed to attend games at MetLife Stadium early in the 2020 NFL season. While many other clubs have greatly reduced stadium capacity, Davis anticipates having to take things further.
Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal‘s Mark Akers, Davis said he will not permit any fans into Allegiant Stadium if all season-ticket holders aren’t able to attend games. Given his objection to reduced crowd sizes, the Raiders will likely choose to play in an empty stadium this year.
The NFL anticipates suffering billions of dollars in lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reduced stadium revenue. The economic fallout could be especially painful for the Raiders, who already sold out all their 2020 tickets.
If the Raiders allow full refunds to fans who bought tickets, it will result in the club losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Given many NFL teams have already made a similar decision, though, Davis might have no other choice.