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Eagles fans flock to Vegas for 4-day tailgate

Updated October 24, 2021 - 8:58 pm

Different shades of green were evident throughout Allegiant Stadium Sunday as Philadelphia Eagles faithful made their presence felt in Las Vegas.

Eagles fans are one of the most fervent traveling fan bases in the NFL, so it should have been no surprise, especially for the team’s first trip to Las Vegas.

Cheers were almost as loud for Philadelphia on big plays as they were for the hometown Raiders, with Eagles fans sitting in all parts of the stadium, including in the infamous Black Hole, located in the south end zone. It appeared they populated more than 40 percent of the 62,500 seats.

“We can take out some of the crowd noise and make sure that everybody knows that we’re here,” said James Griffith, a Wilmington, Delaware, resident. “We’re here, we know it’s your home, but we’re here.”

Philly fans even broke out in their fight song, “Fly Eagles Fly,” when the Eagles scored the game’s first touchdown. However, their cheers were fewer as Raiders won 33-22, improving to a 5-2 record.

Secondary ticket outlet TickPick said the game was the most expensive Week 7 game, fetching an average selling price of $537. That is 40 percent higher than the next most expensive game, the Seahawks-Saints, with a $383 average selling price.

Of those who purchased tickets to the Raiders-Eagles, 33 percent had a Pennsylvania zip code.

Many fans from the Philadelphia area said it was a no-brainer to make the trip to catch their team against the Raiders in Las Vegas.

“We try to go to one game every year, and when this one hit we looked and went ‘Oh we’re going to Vegas and the new stadium. We gotta go see what they’re doing there,’ ” Griffith said. “It’s like one massive tailgate for the entire weekend. This has been like four days of tailgating. We’ve basically been tailgating since we showed up.”

Griffith and his wife, Meagan McDonald, frequent Las Vegas often and even got married here. With their twice annual trips to Las Vegas, they say that they’ve seen that the city is a worthy pro sports town.

“It’s amazing,” McDonald said. “The weekend we got married the Golden Knights were in the Stanley Cup Finals, and we almost went to that because we’re sports fans,” McDonald said. “But being here for our team is amazing; it’s a different feeling.”

Phans of Philly is a business that sets up all-inclusive road game trips for Eagles fans. Owner Joe DiBiaggio said they had about 1,000 people booked for this trip.

“Coming off the pandemic, people were a little eager to travel,” DiBiaggio said. “With Vegas being on the schedule for a couple of years, I think people were looking forward to it and we had a huge demand.”

DiBiagio said they received 400 deposits for the game before the scheduled date for the game was released. Along with the all-inclusive trip, Phans of Philly organized a tailgate zone for fans to meet up and prepare for the game Sunday morning.

One of those fans, Ryan Frost, from Conshokocken, Pennsylvania, said he doesn’t come to Las Vegas often, but he had to make the trip for his team.

“We go on a road trip every year, and as soon as they announced Las Vegas I circled my calendar,” Frost said. “I haven’t been here in 10 or 12 years… It’s the best city, man, so why not put a football game in the middle of it? It’s a party town here.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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