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Las Vegas Raiders owner doesn’t anticipate fans at Allegiant Stadium for 2020 season

Matt Johnson
Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders
May 29, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; General overall aerial view of Las Vegas Raiders helmet and Wilson 2020 NFL The Duke official football at the Allegiant Stadium construction site. The stadium will be the home of the Las Vegas Raiders and the UNLV Rebels football teams. It is located on about 62 acres of land west of Mandalay Bay at Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue and between Polaris Avenue and Dean Martin Drive, just west of Interstate 15. Construction of the $1.8 billion stadium began on September 18, 2017 and is expected to be completed on July 31, 2020, in time for the 2020 NFL season and the 2020 NCAA season. Allegiant Stadium will serve as site of the Las Vegas Bowl beginning in 2020, which will feature a Pac-12 football opponent versus either a Big Ten or SEC opponent, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.