The new 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium will be closed to Las Vegas Raiders fans for the 2020 NFL season amid ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Raiders will move into the new state-of-the-art venue this season after relocating from Oakland but the team will be playing without a crowd for its debut campaign. Raiders fans were informed of the decision yesterday (Monday) via email.

Allegiant Stadium’s operations team was recently given the green light to move into the stadium after the Mortenson|McCarthy joint venture received a certificate of occupancy for the venue. The stadium had been due to open with a Garth Brooks concert on August 22 but this has been postponed until February 27.

The Raiders’ first regular-season game at the venue will be against the New Orleans Saints on September 21 and the team has now confirmed that no fans will be permitted at the stadium.

The announcement comes with a number of NFL teams having outlined plans to operate at reduced capacities to adhere to social distancing guidelines but the Raiders feel their decision is the fairest outcome for personal seat license holders.

In a statement, the Raiders said: “There is nothing more important to the Raider Organisation than the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, stadium workers and fans. After intensive consultation with healthcare officials and state and community leaders, we have made the difficult decision to play the Las Vegas Raiders 2020 inaugural season at Allegiant Stadium without fans in attendance. This 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.

“This decision also ensures fairness to you, our PSL holders, given the challenges and potential inequities associated with determining who can and cannot attend specific games if the stadium were to operate at a reduced capacity. While the current situation is not how any of us envisioned celebrating the opening of Allegiant Stadium, when circumstances permit we look forward to sharing an unparalleled game day experience in the magnificent stadium you helped build.”

Season ticket holders will be eligible for full refunds or can transfer their payments to 2021.

Image: Allegiant Stadium