Salt Lake City Back In Conversation To Possibly Host Las Vegas Raiders In 2020
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The Raiders have gone through a lot to move from Oakland to Las Vegas. There have been lawsuits, blockages by cities and COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic is now possibly impacting the construction schedule of Allegiant Stadium – the new home of the Raiders.
PODCAST: There is a possibility, small as it maybe, that the @Raiders could play some games in Salt Lake if their stadium is not ready.https://t.co/Nj8NbMPzhP
— KSL Unrivaled (@KSLunrivaled) April 15, 2020
With even the smallest possibility of the new Raiders stadium not being ready for 2020, the city is taking preemptive measures just in case. Options include having the team play in another location. Salt Lake City is one of three cities, along with Phoenix and San Diego, for a temporary home in 2020.
Stadium construction is going forward. Most recently the roof was completed but there is a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal stating that the Raiders are creating emergency scenarios if construction is slowed down or stopped.
However, even with the door even slightly open, KSL Unrivaled brought back their pitch to have Salt Lake City be the home of the Raiders – with the tagline – “This is the place… for now.”
Remember this? @AlexKirryKSL and @19scottmitchell made pitches to bring the @Raiders to Salt Lake City.
Now, there are possible stadium delay's in Las Vegas and the Raiders might need a temp home for 2020.
"This is the place… for now" pic.twitter.com/GoTH2E45oJ
— KSL Unrivaled (@KSLunrivaled) April 14, 2020
Raiders Considered Salt Lake Last Year
The 2019 season nearly had the Raiders playing in a different city than Oakland.
Raiders beat writer Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal joined KSL Unrivaled to explain how Salt Lake City and the state of Utah are important to the Raiders in Las Vegas.
“The Raiders definitely have an eye on Utah and making hopefully making them a priority,” Bonsignore said.
He went on to say how Salt Lake was in consideration to host the team in 2019 and could be a possibility for 2019 and still is for 2020 if needed.
“No question about it. I remember a couple of years ago when the Raiders were having some battles with the city of Oakland in trying to re-up on their lease to buy them some time while construction was being done at Allegiant Stadium. There was no immediate place for them to play in Las Vegas,” Bonsignore said. “For the Raiders, Sam Boyd Stadium where UNLV plays is not up to NFL standards, so that was out as an option.
“I remember USC came out to play at the University of Utah and it was the first time I had been there. I thought on the plane coming back and am thinking, ‘the stadium is NFL-sized, it is suitable, and is in a great area,'” Bonsignore added.
“I talked to some Raider people and said if you had to how about Salt Lake City? It was definitely at that point on their radar and is now just in case the worst, worst-case scenario happens where Allegiant Stadium falls so far behind – that is not being anticipated – but in the uncertain times we are dealing with you have to have all of your bases covered. If they couldn’t play all of their games in Allegiant Stadium, Salt Lake City is definitely on their list of playing temporarily.”
The NFL schedule comes out sometime in May and the league could possibly backload the Raiders schedule with home games and put them on the road early in the season to buy the city of Las Vegas some potentially needed time to finish building the stadium.
It is still a long shot that Rice-Eccles Stadium hosts the Raiders for any games in 2020 but being in consideration for all of 2019 and still on the list for 2020 is high praise for this city. Who knows maybe other major sports franchises will take a look at Salt Lake City to either relocate a team or when there is an expansion option.
Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.