By Steve Beauregard
After two years and $2 billion dollars, the Las Vegas Raiders’ brand new stadium, Allegiant Stadium, is complete and one of the gems of American stadium architecture. (And this is coming from a Bronco fan).
Allegiant Stadium seats 65,000 people and hosts the Raiders, UNLV football games, the Las Vegas Bowl, The Pac-12 Championship, concerts, and other events.
The 10-story black-sided domed stadium, (nicknamed “The Death Star,”) is a beautiful, light filled palace – all thanks to its clear plastic roof and giant retractable side windows.
It’s also just a very short walk from the Las Vegas Strip. In fact, the stadium entrance is just a .7 mile walk from the Las Vegas Strip.
Allegiant Stadium is just across Interstate 15 from Mandalay Bay – the southernmost casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
More specifically, the stadium is located on 63 acres of land at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Russell Road, just west of the Strip.
The strip of land is fairly long and narrow, however the actual stadium is on the northern end of the parcel, and very close to I-15.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Location Map
(The black star represents the North Las Vegas Raiders stadium entrance. The purple is the Excalibur-Luxor-Mandalay Bay tram stop)
What all this means is that walking to the Raiders Stadium from the Las Vegas Strip is fairly easy, and faster (and cheaper) than driving to the game.
Perhaps this is why professional parking consultants hired by the Raiders estimate that during home games, 30,000 people will walk to the stadium from the Strip.
Walk from Las Vegas Strip to Raiders Stadium
While it happens to be on the other side of the interstate, the Raiders new stadium is very pedestrian friendly. You won’t need a car, taxi, Uber or Lyft to get to the stadium from the Strip, however the complex has been designed to handle an abundance of ride sharing vehicles.
W. Hacienda Avenue is the road that bisects the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. The north stadium entrance is just a few hundred feet south of W. Hacienda Avenue, meaning it will be a very short walk for those of you starting from Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
A talented reporter from the Las Vegas Sun, Adam Candee, made the walk from Mandalay Bay to the stadium on a random non-game Sunday, reporting that it took him just 11 minutes.
Of course, on game days, there will be much more pedestrian traffic, (tens of thousands of people will cross this bridge on game days), however Hacienda Avenue will be closed to vehicles (from Polaris Avenue to the Las Vegas Strip), on game days.
In addition, there is also a brand new 30 foot wide pedestrian-only bridge going over I-15 to the stadium, making things much faster (and easier) for walkers and tailgaters and those of you enjoying pre-game parties on the Strip.
So the walk from Mandalay Bay to the Raiders stadium will take you roughly ten minutes, unless you’re like me and stop by a Wheel of Fortune machine.
Trams from the Strip to Allegiant Stadium
Those of you staying at resorts like the Mirage, Caesars Palace, T.I., Bellagio, Cosmopolitan or Aria could take some of the free Las Vegas trams to get from your hotel to close to the Excalibur.
Combine that with the free tram that runs from the Excalibur to Mandalay Bay, means getting to Mandalay Bay will be very easy from all hotels on the Strip, even though the trams should be very busy on game days.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Events
In addition to the normal slate of 10 home games for the Raiders (8 regular season games and 2 preseason games), stadium authorities have already booked a number of high-profile events.
The stadium’s inaugural event was scheduled to be a Garth Brooks concert for August 22nd. It sold out in less than two hours! The rescheduled date of February 27th, 2021 was moved again, now to Saturday, July 10th, 2021.
The first Raiders’ Game in Las Vegas
The very first Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium was supposed to be a pre-season game on August 27th, at 7:30 PM against the Arizona Cardinals. However the NFL cancelled the pre-season.
Instead, the first home regular season game was a Monday Night Football spectacular that closed out the second week of the season. On September 21st at 5:15 PM, the New Orleans Saints took on the Raiders for the Raiders’ official Allegiant Stadium debut.
Unfortunately, the Raiders did not allow fans in 2020 to welcome in the new stadium.
UNLV Rebels Football Games
The University of Nevada Las Vegas also calls Allegiant Stadium their home – moving out of their Sam Boyd Stadium digs east of town.
Unlike the Raiders, the UNLV games did have fans, albeit a limited number. UNLV’s first game at Allegiant took place on October 31st, 2020, against Nevada. Two thousand fans were allowed inside.
Other Events (Subject to change)
College football’s PAC 12 announced awhile ago that the Pac-12 Championship will be held at the stadium in 2022.
The stadium will also host the annual Las Vegas Bowl college football game, starting in December of 2022.
Entertainment company AEG has been put in charge of managing events, and they expect the stadium will host over forty events a year. This includes a big concert festival originally set for early November 2020, called “Day N Vegas,” featuring Migos and Kendrick Lamar, among others. It was cancelled, but again, is possible for a 2021 return.
In addition to wanting to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Las Vegas officials are reportedly trying to land a Super Bowl. Super Bowl cities have been announced up to (and including) the 2024 Super Bowl, so 2025 is the earliest Sin City would be able to host America’s biggest sporting event.
More recently, the NFL has announced that the 2022 Pro Bowl will be played in Las Vegas.
Parking at Allegiant Stadium
While it will seat 65,000 people (not to mention thousands of stadium workers, media members, etc.), there are only 2,735 parking spaces right at the stadium.
Parking plans are still underway, however the Las Vegas Stadium Company, (operators of Allegiant Stadium), have purchased numerous parcels near the stadium that will be developed into parking lots prior to the July opening.
The Stadium authority states there will be 15,000 parking spaces within walking distance of the stadium. Details as to parking prices have yet to be announced.
Another 10,000 spaces are further away off-site, (at Warm Springs Road and Las Vegas Boulevard for example), however free shuttles will be available to transfer fans to the stadium gates.
If you only want to park and walk, (avoiding shuttles), your Allegiant Stadium Parking options (other than the limited spaces on the stadium grounds) include:
Las Vegas Village Parking (Brown “P” on map)
The owner of this parcel, MGM Resorts, has announced that Las Vegas Village will be used for parking on game days.
Las Vegas Village is across the Strip from the Luxor and makes for an easy walk (18 minutes by one estimate), to the stadium. It was the site of the horrific Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in October of 2017. Due to that sensitivity, MGM officials say that tailgating will not be allowed on this site.
According to a story by Mick Akers in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this site, (and the four surrounding lots near it) are currently able to handle nearly 12,000 vehicles.
Since this is an MGM Resorts property, parking will be completely free as a gesture of goodwill to the community.
Just kidding. The company that introduced wide-spread paid parking to the Las Vegas Strip will undoubtedly charge hefty prices to park here on game days. However as with the parking land owned by the stadium company itself, parking rates have yet to be announced.
Valley View & Reno (Pink dot on map)
This 17 acre lot northwest of the stadium at the corner of S. Valley View Blvd and W. Reno Avenue was purchased by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019 and has room for 2,700 parking spaces.
The aforementioned talented Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter, Mick Akers, reported that he made the walk from here to the stadium in just eight minutes.
In addition to these “walkable” parking lots, the Raiders have announced several different park ‘n ride parking lots further away from the stadium, in which shuttles will presumably whisk you to Allegiant. These lots including a spacious one at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.
Hotels Near Allegiant Stadium
Based on walking distance measurements starting from inside the hotels (via Google maps), the closest hotels to Allegiant Stadium, (in order of proximity), are as follows:
Mandalay Bay – .7 miles
Excalibur – .8 miles
Tropicana – 1 mile
NY-NY Hotel & Casino – 1.1 miles
MGM Grand – 1.2 miles
While Mandalay Bay is the closest hotel to Allegiant Stadium as the crow flies, you have to walk a tad north from the hotel to get to Hacienda and over to the stadium, making the Luxor, the hotel with the shortest walk to Allegiant Stadium.
Can you walk to Allegiant Stadium from The Orleans?
This affordable, fun casino just off the Strip is a little northwest of Allegiant Stadium. You can make the walk, but it’s not a short one.
In fact, it’s 1.8 miles from The Orleans to Allegiant Stadium. Goolge maps estimates the walk would take 35 minutes.
Other Las Vegas Stadium Tidbits
* The Las Vegas Raiders Stadium address is:
3333 Al Davis Way
Las Vegas, NV 89118
* Construction on the stadium began in September 2017.
* In addition, to the new stadium, the Raiders have completed a new headquarters and team practice facility in nearby Henderson, Nevada, at a cost of $100 million dollars.
The headquarters includes a three-story office building, a retail store where you can buy all things Raiders, and a 150,000 square foot fieldhouse.
* Who is paying for this shiny new stadium?
You and I are!
As a diehard Denver Broncos fan since I was six, it pains me to realize that I’m helping our hated rival every time I’m in Las Vegas, but that’s the reality.
At least partially. Of the stadium’s $1.8 billion dollar cost, $750 million is via public funding through bonds. And those bonds are being paid by a Clark County hotel tax increase that began in March of 2017.
Those of you staying on the Strip, (and some hotels just to the west and south of the Strip), pay an additional .88% nightly hotel room tax to help fund the Raiders’ new digs. Other area hotels within a 25 mile radius charge an additional nightly .5% hotel room tax for the stadium construction.
* The stadium is being built by an experienced sports stadium construction company called Mortenson Construction, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They’ve built hundreds of venues over the years, including the dazzling U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
* MGM Resorts has announced they look forward to hosting pre-game tailgate parties. These would presumably feature the three MGM Resorts properties very close to the stadium: Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur.
* Speaking of MGM Resorts: Allegiant Stadium will have an in-stadium sports betting lounge called MGM Club.
* The makeup of Allegiant Stadium’s actual field will depend upon who is playing. During UNLV games, the artificial turf will be used, whereas all Raiders games will be played on natural grass.
In fact, the grass has been grown outside, and will remain outdoors on a giant, 4 foot deep movable platform on the south end of the stadium when games are not taking place. Four different types of grass were grown outside the stadium to see which grass grew best in this environment.
* The proposed extension of the Las Vegas Monorail to Mandalay Bay has been shelved. Originally expected to be completed in September of 2020, in time for a regular season home opener, the authority that operates the monorail was unable to get Nevada governmental approval for bond financing.
* Originally the stadium was scheduled to cost $1.8 billion. In September of 2019, officials announced construction will be $2 billion.
* Allegiant Stadium’s first event could very well be soccer, rather than football. Media outlets have reported that an International Champions Cup match between Barcelona and Real Madrid is possibly in the works.
(Photo courtesy of MANICA Architecture and Allegiant Stadium)