Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas drew 1.7 million people for a variety of sporting events and concerts in 2022. Before opening, there was some concern about the viability of the 65,000-capacity stadium in a city built on the backs of massive Las Vegas casinos.
To build Allegiant Stadium, and draw the Las Vegas Raiders away from Oakland, the state contributed $750 million to the $2 billion stadium. This was the most public money used to build a stadium in the US.
The stadium is outperforming even the loftiest projections. Being home to an NFL team is one thing.
Allegiant Stadium is becoming as big a draw as some of the most popular Las Vegas casinos. The venue is drawing events that would have never come to Las Vegas such as sold-out BTS and Taylor Swift concerts, international soccer matches, and major college football games.
Around 40% of Allegiant Stadium attendees are from out of town
While this is the home stadium of the Las Vegas Raiders, tourists occupy the majority of seats during home games for the Silver & Black. According to an article by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 65% of the fans at the last five Raiders games in 2022 were from “out of town.”
Fans of the New England Patriots showed up in enormous numbers for the Nov. 18 game against the Raiders. A whopping 69% of the fans at the game were from out of town.
This isn’t a normal distribution for an NFL game. Then again, Las Vegas isn’t a typical football town.
One-off sporting events brought even more visitors from out of state. 89% of the crowd for the BYU vs. Notre Dame football game in October were from out of town. This makes sense as neither team is from Las Vegas.
Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill says that the projections for out-of-town visitors for Allegiant Stadium events are way ahead of projections.
The Stadium Authority was projecting 27% of attendees at Allegiant Stadium would be from outside of Las Vegas. Hill says that number is somewhere in the 40% range.
Last weekend concert-goers from around the country descended on Allegiant Stadium for two sold-out nights of Taylor Swift’s “Era’s” tour.
The fourth quarter of 2022 brought many visiting fans to Raiders games. 536,570 of the 1.7 million people that attended events at Allegiant Stadium in 2022 came during the last few months of the year thanks to a handful of Raiders games.
Strong economic impact helps people move past public funding no-no
Many will always have negative opinions about public funding for Allegiant Stadium. At least one Las Vegas official seems to be moving forward with a most positive take.
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom was originally against public funding for Allegiant Stadium. In the Review-Journal he now says:
“The truth is I think it beats everybody’s wildest expectations. It filled a void and now we can hold any event in the world. It really has been incredibly beneficial.”
The positive vibes go beyond government officials. Las Vegas hotel operators are enjoying higher hotel room rates when there are big events at Allegiant Stadium
When Taylor Swift was in Las Vegas this year, numerous nearby hotels were sold out. Those hotels also sold out when BTS made one of its rare US appearances in 2022.
Hill thinks Las Vegas would not be hosting the Las Vegas Grand Prix if it wasn’t for Allegiant Stadium showcasing how Las Vegas can host major events. The F1 race is expected to generate an economic impact for Las Vegas of $1.3 billion this year.
For comparison, that’s more than twice what analysts expect from the Super Bowl next year.
Live events at Allegiant Stadium compete with Las Vegas casinos
It took some time for Allegiant Stadium to get rolling. Construction on the stadium started in 2017. Unfortunately, fans weren’t able to see an event at Allegiant Stadium until late 2020.
Construction on the Las Vegas Raiders home stadium was completed in 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Raiders played its first season in Las Vegas inside a venue without fans.
The UNLV Rebels played the first sporting event in front of people in 2020. The first football game at Allegiant Stadium had a limited capacity of 2,000 when UNLV lost to the Nevada Wolf Pack 37–19.
Fans were able to finally watch the Raiders play a home game during the 2021 season. The Raiders had some of the most strict Covid-19 policies in the NFL. There were more restrictions to attending a Raiders game than some other events at the stadium.
The first concert at Allegiant Stadium was EDM performer Illenium. He played all three studio albums in three separate sets to about 35,000 people.
Since opening Allegiant Stadium has hosted sold-out events including college football games, international soccer matches, and concerts from multiple genres.
Looking forward, Allegiant Stadium will host the Super Bowl in 2024 and Final Four in 2028. In between, there will be numerous concerts and other one-off events plus Las Vegas Raiders home games.