Las Vegas Raiders Inaugural Season To Be Without Fans, Further Bad News for Casinos

Posted on: August 3, 2020, 06:35h. 

Last updated on: August 4, 2020, 08:24h.

The Las Vegas Raiders will play their inaugural season in a rather empty $1.9 billion home. The franchise’s new 65,000-seat domed stadium will be without fans when the NFL kicks off next month.

Las Vegas Raiders NFL odds
Allegiant Stadium, the new home to the Las Vegas Raiders, will be fanless during the NFL season. (Image: Michael Cerdeiros/Las Vegas Raiders)

The Raiders organization announced the disappointing news Monday afternoon.

The decision is based on our commitment to protect the health of our fans and the entire community in response to the coronavirus pandemic affecting us all,” according to a statement by the team.

Fans who purchased season ticket plans can either apply the funds toward the 2021 season or receive a full refund.

Veteran running back Jeremy Hill, who last played for the New England Patriots in 2018, announced Sunday on Twitter that he has signed with the Raiders.

The consensus line on Las Vegas winning the Super Bowl in its debut year is at 60/1 (implied odds 1.64 percent). A $100 bet and a Raiders title nets $6,000. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are the front-runners at 6/1.

Season Kick-off, or Punt?

COVID-19 continues to threaten professional sports. MLB began its much-delayed regular season last month. But numerous games have already been postponed because of positive test results among players, coaches, and team personnel.

The NFL season is set to get underway on September 10, when the Chiefs host the Houston Texans. Not everyone thinks the league should go on as planned.

Cleveland Browns superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. recently told The Wall Street Journal that the NFL should cancel the 2020-21 season.

Obviously with everything that’s going on, it doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this,” Beckham said. “We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their [owners] money.”

The agreement reached by the NFL and NFL Players Association allows players to opt out of the 2020-21 season. Those who do will not be paid their full compensation but will receive a salary advance of $350,000 for medical opt outs, and $150,000 for voluntary opt outs.

To date, 45 players have opted out, including three-time Super Bowl champion Dont’a Hightower of the Patriots.

Vegas Dealt Another Bad Hand

The Raiders playing their games in an empty Allegiant Stadium is the latest economic blow to Southern Nevada caused by the coronavirus. Numerous large conventions have been canceled or postponed.

Southern Nevada partially funded the Raiders stadium to the tune of $750 million, money that was raised by slightly increasing the hotel occupancy tax on room stays in Clark County. Local and state officials said at the time that the tax money was a solid investment, as the stadium will bring in throngs of new visitors to Las Vegas throughout the years.

Along with NFL games, the stadium is set to be used for UNLV college football games, college football bowl games, special events, concerts, and more. With the stadium seats empty in 2020, the annual $620 million economic impact analysts forecast will not be realized.