Las Vegas is synonymous with fun for people in the United States and around the world. Raiders coach Antonio Pierce wants that to change — at least for Raiders’ opponents at Allegiant Stadium.
After an introductory press conference for Pierce, the Raiders’ new head coach, and Tom Telesco, the team’s new general manager, Pierce chatted with Amber Theoharis and Eric Allen on Raiders media. He said he wants a classic Raiders home-field advantage, reminiscent of the imposing crowd the franchise enjoyed in Oakland.
“We gotta make our stadium back to what it used to be, in that other place,” Pierce said. Theoharis immediately mentioned the Oakland Coliseum as Pierce went on speaking about his vision.
“Las Vegas has to have this identity of Raider Nation [and] Allegiant Stadium. That’s my goal. That’s our players’ goal. That should be our fans’ goal. We do that together. As big as the Raider Nation is: you don’t want to come to this bad boy.
“You shouldn’t want to come to Vegas. You think it’s a fun trip? Hell no it ain’t a fun trip. Not no more! That’s got to end. That’s got to be a product too of our players and how we play. But it takes everybody.”
If Pierce’s goal is to be met, what he mentioned last is the most important: it falls on the players and the coaches to create a winning team that Raiders fans are excited about. Unlike the Oakland Coliseum, resale tickets at Allegiant are a hot item every week. Fans can partially offset season ticket costs, which are pricy in their own right, by selling seats to opposing fans for top dollar if the Raiders underperform.
The Raiders set the foundation for a revamped home-field advantage this season with a 6-3 home record. Four of those wins were with Pierce at the helm, including a 63-21 beatdown of the Chargers on national TV.
Raiders fans have set a foundation as well. They were energized when Pierce took over as head coach and chanted his name after the team’s final game of the season, a home win against the Broncos.
“That first game against the Giants, that crowd was electric,” Pierce said. “Then the last game, that was different. They were chanting. They were loud. They made their presence known.”
There will presumably always be demand for visiting fans in Las Vegas. But if the Raiders can create an identity on the field — built with ill-intent, violence, and the “Raider Way” — and consistently deliver losses to the road team, it’ll be easier for fans to create an identity at Allegiant Stadium.
Fewer opposing fans will want to pay high ticket costs to watch their team lose. And far fewer Raiders fans will want to resell their tickets, as Pierce’s vision for the silver and black is exactly what long-suffering fans want to see.