The Las Vegas Raiders’ stadium is now finished, almost 1,000 days after breaking ground and just in time for the 2020 NFL season.
The 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium, home base for the Raiders and University of Nevada, Las Vegas football, was cleared for occupancy at the end of July. Designed by Kansas City, Missouri’s MANICA Architecture, the structure’s animating element is a 85-foot-tall fluted flaming cauldron (yes) built to honor Al Davis, the longtime principal owner and manager of the Raiders who died in 2011. MANICA claims that it’s the largest 3D-printed object in the world.
Its seating areas are shaped into a horseshoe that can be expanded by 7,000 seats if the Raiders host a big event like the Super Bowl.
MANICA essentially repurposed the design of what was supposed to be a Los Angeles stadium for the team, which was playing in Oakland, California, up until this year. The L.A. stadium was supposed to be an open-air affair, but the Las Vegas stadium is covered to protect spectators from the scorching Nevada desert sun.
The Las Vegas office of HNTB served as the architect of record.
The structure is surrounded by a 25,000-spot sea of parking so fans can spread out with their 30 racks, grillable meats, and Ed Hardy–adjacent pirate costumes. (It remains to be seen what traditions fans will carry over to Las Vegas.)
The Raiders posted a video walkthrough with Keith Robinson and David Manica, director and founding principal, respectively, of MANICA Architects. Inside, Manica explained how the client asked his firm to add more suites to the middle tier. Referring to the design of the white boxes, he told the cameraperson that “great design doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be creative.”
But make no mistake—Allegiant Stadium did not come cheap.
Funding for the $1.9 billion project, the most costly stadium in league history, was obtained via loans, seat licensing sales, and an almost one percent tax on hotel stays in Clark County, which includes the City of Las Vegas.
To add insult to injury, the stadium probably won’t be able to welcome fans this year. The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that the Raiders are set to bleed money due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although seats are sold out for the 2020-21 season, the Raiders, along with the other 31 NFL teams, will play to empty stands.