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Want to see your team face the Raiders in LV? This airline has a deal for you

Updated June 3, 2024 - 3:49 pm

While the Raiders often complain about losing home-field advantage with thousands of fans of opponents buying thousands of seats for games at Allegiant Stadium, the company with the stadium naming rights is capitalizing on flying many of those fans to Las Vegas.

Allegiant Travel Co. on Monday announced a series of additional Allegiant Air flights and began pitching arrivals and departures centered around NFL games in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Nashville.

Allegiant is marketing to Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs fans to fly on special added flights to Harry Reid International Airport in September and October.

Representatives of the Raiders were not immediately available for comment.

“Football fans are the heartbeat of the game, and we want to make sure they can feel every pulse-pounding moment live,” Allegiant Chief Revenue Officer Drew Wells said in a Monday release. “These specialty flights have been extremely popular during past NFL seasons and we expect them to sell out in advance of the game.”

Allegiant is promoting nonstop flights to and from Akron-Canton Airport to Reid for the Raiders Week 4 game with the Browns Sept. 28 and 30. It’s also promoting flights to and from Kansas City International Airport for the Raiders Week 7 game with the Chiefs Oct. 26 and 28.

The airline’s special flights promotion also includes enticing Green Bay Packers fans with flights from Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin and Chicago’s Rockford International Airport to Nashville for the Packers’ Week 3 game with the Tennessee Titans.

The airline also has scheduled special flights from Appleton to Los Angeles for the Packers’ Week 5 game against the Rams and to Jacksonville, Florida, for their Week 8 game against the Jaguars.

Allegiant also is promoting special flights from Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport for Detroit Lions fans to follow the team in its Week 3 game against the Arizona Cardinals and from Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota, to Nashville International for the Minnesota Vikings Week 10 game with the Titans.

Gaming industry analysts say the Raiders shouldn’t worry about losing a home-field advantage because they got what they signed up for.

Josh Swissman, founding partner and managing director of Las Vegas-based GMA Consulting, said one or two planeloads of Browns or Chiefs fans won’t make much difference on homefield advantage, and the Raiders will be able to capitalize on selling tickets to out-of-town visitors.

“I’m sure it will work out just fine for the Raiders,” Swissman said. “The whole thesis behind moving the team to Las Vegas from Oakland was to increase two things: attendance and average ticket price. The biggest way to do that, and the Golden Knights proved it before this, is if you bring a professional sports team to Vegas, the attendance will go up because of tourists and people from out of town that will attend the event.

“They’ve got dedicated vacation budgets for that,” he said. “It’s very easy to charge more of a premium for the entertainment offering. And it’s not just professional sports. If you look at concert tickets and average ticket prices, Vegas is always one of the markets for touring bands that they’re able to charge more for. So that phenomenon is part of what drew the Raiders to Vegas in the first place.”

Brendan Bussmann, a gaming industry analyst with Las Vegas-based B Global, said other airlines also take advantage of Las Vegas’ appeal as a sports destination.

“Like other airlines, Allegiant is using its hub as a way to capitalize on football season into certain markets,” Bussmann said. “It’s a way for every airline to add seats to routes to drive additional volume.”

Bussmann noted that the arrangement works in both directions since Las Vegas fans enjoy traveling to other cities to support the Raiders.

“Las Vegas is the sports and entertainment capital of the world and fans from all over are going to come here for a game,” he said. “It’s one of the drivers that makes the destination different from every other professional sports city in the United States and frankly the world.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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