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Allegiant Stadium Opener Could be a Primetime Game

Allegiant Stadium rendering 2019

Although 2020 scheduling has yet to be finalized, a primetime opener for the Raiders at Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium appears to be a likely proposition.

The 2020 NFL season will see the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, where construction on the upcoming Allegiant Stadium remains on schedule. Typically, the NFL has found ways to showcase new stadiums early in the season through primetime television broadcasts, and it seems that that could be the case for Allegiant Stadium.

According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report, citing unnamed sources, the possibility of the Raiders opening Allegiant Stadium with a Sunday Night Football game is one that is gaining traction. While that plan has not been finalized yet–and a potential Thursday night opener for Allegiant Stadium does not seem to have been dismissed at this point–airing the Raiders’ first regular-season game on Sunday night would provide for a strong showcase, while allowing the brand-new SoFi Stadium to host Thursday and Monday night contests in the same week. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Of all the scenarios being considered, people close to the situation indicate the most likely at this early stage could be the Raiders’ home opener filling the Sunday Night Football stage, with the Rams’ home opener at SoFi Stadium, the $5 billion, 72,000-seat stadium being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, opening the NFL season on the preceding Thursday night. 

That would leave the Los Angeles Chargers, who will share SoFi Stadium with the Rams, to play in the nightcap of the season-opening Monday night doubleheader.

“Certainly (the NFL) will have to figure out how to get all three into prime time early in the season,” an unnamed high-ranking league official said.

The previous year’s Super Bowl winners have typically hosted the Thursday night kickoff game, but that is not a tradition that is set in stone, as evidenced by the 2019 season beginning with a game that saw the Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in a matchup without either participant from the most recent Super Bowl. As noted, the NFL schedule is not finalized and–until it is released–it is hard to pinpoint exactly what the league will plan. Still, the 2020 season is one that will see two notable stadiums debut in the NFL, and it stands reason that the league would want to showcase those venues quickly.

Renderings courtesy MANICA Architecture.

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