The Las Vegas Raiders are set to open Allegiant Stadium this year after a highly publicized and polarizing relocation. Just as the story came to end for Oakland, the desert sun might be setting on a Las Vegas landmark.
Allegiant Stadium will be the NFL’s crown jewel when it opens, even without fans, a true state-of-the-art marvel in the desert oasis. It’s easy to forget with all the glitz and glamour that a new stadium brings, an older one will usually close its doors. It’s part of the process so that’s nothing new, but for Las Vegas, they could be saying goodbye to a Nevada icon in Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Raiders Usher In a New Era in Nevada
Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently spotlighted the soon-to-be-former home of football for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
“If Allegiant Stadium is the bullet train in Las Vegas’ sporting future, Sam Boyd Stadium was The Little Engine That Could. It opened in 1971 at a cost of $3.5 million and served as Las Vegas’ home for sports and entertainment for nearly 50 years.”
In with the new and out with the old, that’s how life, and business, works. It’s amazing to compare what $3.5 million could get you in 1971 when compared to the cost of Allegiant Stadium, a staggering $1.97 billion in 2020.
Time takes its toll on everything, stadiums included, and for Sam Boyd, it was a matter of time. Be that as it may, the landmark held its own for years, creating countless memories for all by way of games, concerts, and special events. The stadium’s former director, Pat Christenson, summed up Sam Boyd’s legacy quite well, “You look at some of the events that people wouldn’t have been part of were it not for Sam Boyd Stadium… It was a pretty good workhorse for its time.”
No doubt it’s a bittersweet development for Nevada and Las Vegas locals, however, they now will be the envy of NFL fans everywhere. Just as Sam Boyd Stadium once did, Allegiant Stadium will bring some of the biggest musical acts and host events of worldwide recognition.
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*Top Photo: Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal