Updated January 2, 2020 - 4:18 pm
There is plenty to look forward to for Las Vegas NFL fans even though the Super Bowl has come and gone, as the city readies to welcome the NFL to the entertainment capital of the world.
The Raiders are set to relocate to Sin City for the 2020 season and move into the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium.
Here are some key dates to keep an eye on tied to the Raiders and NFL’s arrival.
Feb. 24-March 2: The Raiders will evaluate draft prospects at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
March 18: Although they played their final game as the Oakland Raiders in December and have since been officially renamed the Las Vegas Raiders in a ceremony last month, the new league year doesn’t officially begin until March 18.
March 18 also is the start of NFL free agency, where the Raiders are rumored to have an eye on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
May 19-20: The league’s spring meetings are in Marina Del Ray, California.
The get-together is usually when the next round of Super Bowl host cities are announced. The Raiders are looking to host the next available slot, the 2025 Super Bowl.
In a recent stop in Las Vegas to tour Allegiant Stadium, commissioner Roger Goodell dubbed Las Vegas a “Super Bowl city,” which should bode well.
Goodell praised Las Vegas as being perfectly situated to handle the Super Bowl, pointing out the city’s history of handling large-scale events.
“This city has that,” Goodell said in a video released by the Raiders earlier this month. “It has the infrastructure. It knows how to do big events like no other city.”
Although not aware of the exact rollout of the next cities to be awarded a Super Bowl, Raiders president Marc Badain is hopeful the decision is made during the spring meetings.
“I’m confident that Las Vegas will be considered as a host city for the 2025 Super Bowl,” Badain told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
April 23-25: Las Vegas will serve as the host city for the NFL draft, staging the player announcements and the draft experience at the Caesars Forum convention center that is slated to be completed this spring. Draft prospects will first walk the red carpet stage to be built over the Fountains of Bellagio, then be transported down Flamingo Road to the draft area.
The draft will also serve as the first time fans can get officially license Las Vegas Raiders branded gear, according to Badain.
Barring a trade, the Raiders hold two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 19) and seven overall. They’ll look to improve on their impressive rookie haul from last year that included standout running back Josh Jacobs, defensive end Maxx Crosby and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.
June TBD: The Raiders will move into their under-construction 335,000-square-foot facility located off St. Rose Parkway, across the street from Henderson Executive Airport. The facility is slated to cost north of $75 million, according to Badain.
The facility has a 135,000-square-foot office area, a 150,000-square-foot field house and the 50,000-square-foot Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.
Around 300 employees will work at the headquarters when it opens in June.
Aside from the three-story office area where team and business personnel will be housed, the headquarters will feature a cafe, a 150-seat theater, a Raider Image retail store and a memorabilia space with Super Bowl trophies on display. The Al Davis Memorial Torch from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum also will be on display.
July 31: Allegiant Stadium is set for substantial completion.
With the stadium sitting over 80 percent complete, the majority of the stadium’s outer portion ienclosed by tinted glass. The interior precast stadia is in place, seat installation has began and the field tray and cable net roofing systems are set to be completed by May.
The facility will be ready to handle events July 31, but some finishing touches will be added to the stadium through October.
Aug. 29: The stadium’s first event scheduled so far is a college football game featuring UNLV against Pac-12 foe California. There will be a kick off event at the stadium ahead of that UNLV game, but officials have been tight-lipped about what that might be.
Sept. 13-14: The opening weekend for the NFL season. Expect the Raiders to play at home either on Sunday night or Monday night during Week 1.
A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 2.
Mick Akers Las Vegas Review-Journal