Raiders reportedly have contingency plan in case stadium is not completed, with three cities at top of list

The Las Vegas Raiders were on track to play their first season in Sin City in 2020. Thanks to stadium construction delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Raiders may have to wait another year to enter their glamorous new home. 

Per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders investigated options to play games in Salt Lake City, Phoenix and San Diego if the coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home orders continue construction delays to Allegiant Stadium. This is considered the worst-case scenario for the Raiders as the franchise still plans to have the stadium completed in time. 

The majority of the work is in the interior of the stadium as construction of the roof is scheduled to be completed in a few weeks. If the Raiders stadium construction is delayed, the team can play their preseason games at an alternate site — perhaps some regular season games until the stadium is completed. Playing all four preseason games on the road is also an option, in case the team wants to play a full eight-game home schedule in their new venue. 

Of the three cities listed, the closest to Vegas is Phoenix — which is four hours and 45 minutes (4:45) away. Salt Lake City is approximately six hours from Vegas and San Antonio is the farthest at 18 hours.

If the Raiders were to play in Salt Lake City, Rice-Eccles Stadium (where the University of Utah football team plays) would be the preferred destination. The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale (where the Arizona Cardinals play) could host the Raiders, or Chase Field (where Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks play) could be a potential venue. The Alamodome would be the logical site if the Raiders were to play in San Antonio, as the stadium has hosted six NFL preseason games and three New Orleans Saints regular season games when the franchise had to play in “alternate home” locations when the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the city were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

Oakland, which was the Raiders’ home city since 1995 (the second stint), is not considered an option. 

All these cities are long shots at this stage in the game, but they are on the table for the Raiders. The longer the stay-at-home orders exist, the more likely the Raiders may need to find a place to play in 2020. 

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