- The Raiders are preparing for their first season in Las Vegas after relocating from Oakland.
- The Raiders will be holding training camp in Southern Nevada instead of the traditional Napa Valley location due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The practice facility in Henderson, Nevada is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The Las Vegas Raiders are preparing for their first season in Southern Nevada after spending the first 60 years of their existence in Oakland and Los Angeles. Despite all of the uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic it’s been ‘so far so good’ for the Silver and Black in their new home. They’ll play their home games in the beautiful $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium and they’re already sold out for the season. Not only have they sold their allotment of season tickets they’ve also sold all individual game tickets. They’ll be on prime time TV four times this season and if they put up a decent effort on the field they should get the same high level of support that the NHL Vegas Golden Knights enjoyed in their debut campaign.
Due to the pandemic they’ll be getting to Las Vegas a bit earlier than expected. The team has already announced that they’ll hold training camp at their new practice facility/office complex in suburban Henderson. They’ve spent a number of years holding training camp in Napa Valley but there are conflicting reports on whether or not the move to Southern Nevada is a permanent thing or just a one year move due to the coronavirus pandemic. The team has already started moving into the offices in the complex–known officially as the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center–and the expectation now is that the facility will be completed by the end of the month.
That’s the timeline being reported in a story in today’s Las Vegas Review Journal. The only work that remains appears to be minor on both the exterior and interior of the $75 million facility. With the team already in the process of moving furniture and other items from their old headquarters in Alameda, California the once unimaginable is becoming a reality: Las Vegas, Nevada is a NFL city.
The RJ article has a detailed description of the floor plan–here’s some of the specifics:
In addition to three outdoor natural grass fields, the Henderson complex will house team executive offices, 1½ indoor fields, a weight room, a 150-seat theater, a rehabilitation center, a cafe, a Raider Image retail store and a TV studio.
The field house is 110-feet tall, with enough height to allow for NFL punters to punt the ball at full force and not hit the ceiling. The field house also features an audio-video system that can emulate different game day scenarios.
The full rundown is interesting and worth heading over to the LVRJ website to read the whole thing.
Another interesting note: team owner Mark Davis and president Marc Badain will have offices that overlook the facility’s three outdoor practice fields. Many would have gone for the Las Vegas Strip view on the opposite side of the building but Davis and Badain want to keep their focus on football. Can’t say I would have made the same decision.
The Raiders had already been considering the move of training camp to Henderson, Nevada–approximately 15 miles from their new home stadium–but before a decision could be reached the NFL forced their hand. Due to the ongoing pandemic, league commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement on June 2 that none of the teams will be allowed to hit the road for training camp:
“First, all training camps are required to be held at the club facility (which includes your home stadium). The only exception will be if a club can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a joint NFL-NFLPA medical task force, that it would not be feasible to conduct at their club facility.”
“Second, in order to mitigate exposure risks, we have agreed that no joint practices will be permitted this year during training camp. We believe that each of these steps will enhance our ability to protect the health and safety of players and your football staffs and are consistent with a sound approach to risk management in the current environment.”
The official start date for training camp has not been released but typically teams start preparing for the forthcoming regular season in late July.