The Raiders are on schedule to play the 2020 season in Las Vegas. Let’s make that crystal clear. Bet the house on that happening and you'll likely come away with two.
Allegiant Stadium construction remains on pace despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and should be ready for events even if the NFL season traditionally starts. Construction is considered an essential business in Nevada and carries on even with a shelter-in-place order in effect.
That has been the case even with two construction site workers testing positive for COVID-19.
If the stadium has unforeseen construction delays, the Raiders reportedly have contingency plans. The most obvious one was put on the backburner at the very least last month, when the Silver and Black formally declined their 2020 option to play at Oakland Coliseum, which was part of the final lease signed with the aging venue that was the Raiders' home for most of their history. They could engage in another agreement, but that seems unlikely in this doomsday scenario.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that, in a worst-case scenario, the Raiders would consider other markets while Allegiant Stadium construction is complete. The newspaper cited Salt Lake City, Phoenix and San Diego were previously investigated as possible options.
It must be emphasized here that this is a doomsday scenario not considered even remotely likely. Even if Allegiant Stadium construction fails to meet deadlines, the preseason home dates could be moved to ensure completion by the regular season. Or the league could front-load home dates to get all eight games in after constructions.
It’s also possible the NFL season is delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving the stadium more time to get done.