Allegiant Stadium is to welcome football fans for the first time this weekend after the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s (UNLV) plans to allow 2,000 spectators to attend were approved.

The Southern Nevada Health District and state authorities gave the green light to allow three per cent of the new 65,000-seat facility to be filled, with the UNLV home opener kicking off on Saturday, October 31.

Allegiant Stadium, which opened last month and cost $1.9bn (£1.5bn/€1.6bn), is also the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, who will play all this season behind closed doors.

Nevada Governor Stephen F. Sisolak has implemented measures that mean gatherings at stadiums can welcome up to 10 per cent of capacity, however to comply with restrictions requiring independent section zones of 250 people or less, separated by at least 25 feet that operate and function separately without attendees leaving their zones, UNLV is limited to three per cent.

UNLV director of athletics Desiree Reed-Francois said: “We appreciate the work of the Southern Nevada Health District and the state of Nevada throughout this process. We have been in constant communication with both entities as well as with Allegiant Stadium to interpret the guidelines with respect to specific facility capabilities.

“The health and safety of everyone involved, both on the field and in the stands, is our primary concern, and although attendance will be limited, we can’t wait to get our season started and look forward to next Saturday’s historic home-opener in Allegiant Stadium.

“Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for the season and I want to remind everyone to continue to promote personal responsibility and to follow all important safety protocols, including the wearing of masks.”

The approval is for UNLV’s first two games at Allegiant Stadium, and plans for games that occur after November 14 must be resubmitted.

A limited number of single-game tickets will be available for purchase to Rebel Athletic Fund members who are current football season ticket holders, with priority point order determining selections. Fan loyalty will also be rewarded as the 10 longest tenured season ticket holders will have access to games this season.

Ticket pricing starts at $110 for this weekend’s game against UNR and for the Boise State game on December 4, and $88 for Fresno State on November 7 and Wyoming on November 27.

The Raiders opened the new Allegiant Stadium on September 21 with a 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints. No Raiders fans were in attendance for the team’s home opener amid ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raiders confirmed last month that the stadium would not welcome fans for the duration of the 2020 season.

Image: UNLV