A year later than anyone initially anticipated, the day is finally here. The Raiders will finally play a game at Allegiant Stadium with fans in the stands.
“It gives you goosebumps,” said head coach Jon Gruden about the prospect if finally seeing Allegiant full of fans. “It gets you excited.”
Last Sunday the team held a training camp practice at the stadium with some season ticket holders on hand. Gruden came out of the tunnel and was clearly pumped about taking the Raiders new field to something other than the silence they experienced throughout last season.
“This is a new home for us. We came, obviously, last year and didn’t see any fans at our home games,” Gruden said after the practice.
“It was really great seeing the Raiders fans back in this stadium for the first time. It was really cool and really exciting for me an all of our players.”
That was just a warmup. A teaser, if you will. And from the fan’s perspective, they just saw a light unpadded practice. Tonight it will be the real deal. Well, as real as a preseason game can be.
“I don’t think you’re going to get to see a lot of the players play unfortunately because of the reality of what this is, this is an exhibition game,” Gruden said this week. “But to unite with our fans and kickoff football season officially in Las Vegas is something we’re really excited about and something we really take a lot of pride in.”
The Raiders are hosting the Seattle Seahawks tonight with a 6pm kickoff. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the Ford circle at the North entrance to the stadium at 2:30pm. After which, fans will be allowed into the team’s swanky new stadium, many for the very first time. All for the first time for a game day experience.
And there will even be live music at pregame and halftime.
This is the only preseason game the Raiders will have at Allegiant this year. After this, the next game will be the season opener on Monday Night Football, September 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.