The Las Vegas Raiders are close to completing construction on Allegiant Stadium and Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid and Barcelona may schedule a match to open the world class venue.
According to multiple sources including English newspaper The Mirror, Spanish soccer clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona may schedule a preseason friendly in the Las Vegas Raiders new home Allegiant Stadium. The world class venue is well on its way to completion and what better way to open the stadium than with two world class clubs and brands?
The friendly would be part of the International Champions Cup (ICC), a preseason tournament that takes place in Asia and the United States featuring some of the biggest names in soccer such as Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and the aforementioned Spanish clubs. The ICC schedules matches all around the US and have generally targeted massive football stadiums such as Metlife Stadium in New Jersey (80k capacity) or The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan (100k capacity) and Allegiant Stadium certainly fits that bill.
One of the challenges that the Raiders faced in Oakland was that their former home was more of a detriment than an advantage in attracting top talent. While there are many factors in drawing free agents, first-class facilities and stadium are among them and until recently the Raiders were lacking in both. Now thanks to the move to Las Vegas, the Raiders will have some of the best facilities and stadiums in the NFL.
Having a world class stadium provides an advantage in attracting top talent as well as opening new revenue streams that can help the franchise improve in a myriad of ways. While all teams operate under the same constraints in the salary cap, big market teams have competitive advantages that the NFL does not account for in the cap.
Events like an El Clasico in Las Vegas would also serve to further boost the profile of the city long known for entertainment and combat sports but is rapidly becoming a destination for team sports as well. This of course bodes well for the Raiders and the hope that Raider Nation will be out in droves from the preseason to, hopefully in the 2020 season, the postseason.