The Raiders kicked off their second season with fans allowed at Allegiant Stadium Sunday, this year with no restrictions in place.
With the newness of the stadium and some fans, including some season ticket-holders, skipping all of last season, the preseason affair against the Minnesota Vikings was the first time many set foot in the $2 billion facility.
One of those fans was Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, who was on hand to sing the national anthem ahead of kickoff.
“I was here for the groundbreaking, but I didn’t get a chance to see it when it opened because of Covid and the rest of it,” Newton said. “It is such a thrill to be here and this place is magnificent.”
Newton has entertained fans in Las Vegas for decades and said the addition of the Raiders and NFL football is a great fit.
“It’s only a plus, plus, plus,” Newton said. “I think it’s wonderful for the city … to have this kind of facility here in addition to the other ones that were built before. I think it’s just fabulous. It’s bringing a whole new audience to our city. It is helping our city to move on and become what it should be.”
Vincent Juares from San Jose, California, has a pair of prime seats at the stadium that include all-inclusive food and beverage in the Champions Club. He missed the first season because no fans were allowed in the building and the demand for tickets on the secondary market led Juares to sell all his tickets last season.
Doing so netted the former season ticket-holder at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland a small fortune.
“One of the reasons I decided to buy these tickets is because I know Raiders tickets sell well,” Juares said. “Last year, as much as I love my team, I was able to sell these tickets for a lot of money. For Game One, I made $7,000 per seat. I can’t pass that up.”
Juares said he’s noticed a slight decrease in the prices fans are willing to pay so far for this season’s tickets, but the Raiders are still the most expensive NFL ticket on the secondary market.
But he figures he’ll be able to pay off his personal seat license fees in two or three years, if the demand keeps up.
Over two years removed from purchasing the tickets, Sunday’s first game at Allegiant for Juares and his girlfriend Diana Pham was an eye-opening experience compared to his time as a season ticket-holder in Oakland.
“I’m amazed,” Juares said. “It’s almost like Raider Nation is getting a bigger spotlight to showcase our fandom.”
Raiders President Sandra Douglass Morgan said the organization is excited to welcome fans like Juares and Pham to the stadium without any limitations in place.
“This is the first time for the stadium to be open for a Raiders game with no restrictions,” Morgan said. “I’m not just talking about Covid or vaccination. There’s no limitations on anything. We’re really excited.”
Like Juares and Pham, Newton said he and his wife plan to attend more games at the stadium. Although there is one game they might sit out.
“I am a Raider fan since they came here,” Newton said. “My wife is from Cleveland, so she’s a big Brown’s fan. I told her when the Browns come here to play the Raiders, we’ll probably watch it on television.”
The Raiders aren’t schedued to play the Browns at Allegiant Stadium until 2024.