Updated April 3, 2020 - 12:24 pm
Owner Mark Davis and the Raiders on Friday stepped up for their new home, pledging $1 million to fight COVID-19 in Las Vegas.
Davis, in a statement, wrote: “Las Vegas Is Our Home … And Together We Shall Forever Be.. #VegasStrong !!!”
Davis has been inspired by the galvanizing effect he’s seen in his new home, one he believes defies the stereotype of Las Vegas as a splintered region made up of transplants.
“Everybody always talks about this area being so diverse and that it’s just a bunch of people from everywhere else and that there’s no cohesion,” Davis said. “But I see everyone pulling together. I’ve seen the strength of this town. I’ve seen Vegas Strong and I’ve seen what these people do in times of stress.”
As Las Vegas began the painful healing process in the aftermath of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting in 2017, the Raiders and the state of Nevada broke ground on Allegiant Stadium just off the Las Vegas Strip.
At the height of the pain and sorrow Las Vegas was experiencing, Davis saw something inspiring in his new neighbors in Southern Nevada.
“Strength,” is how Davis put it.
Nearly three years later, construction of Allegiant Stadium is almost complete. The official opening is scheduled for late summer, with the Raiders on target to take the field at their 65,000-seat stadium in late August or early September.
They will do so with yet another tragedy serving as an unfortunate backdrop.
The roots Davis has planted in Las Vegas, where he is now a full-fledged resident, deepen and strengthen by the day. As they do, so too does his pride in a community that continues to display resiliency in the face of adversity.
“This is my home,” Davis said. “And I’ve seen how the people here respond. It’s inspiring.”
In the 33 months since the NFL approved their move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the Raiders have immersed themselves in various community efforts and initiatives throughout the region. As they continue to complete their trek from California to Las Vegas, they hope to become a local anchor.
Part of that will mean helping lead the charge as Las Vegas rallies back from the current crisis. Once the threat of the coronavirus virus is under control, Davis envisions Allegiant Stadium becoming a community hub, especially on game days.
“People here truly pull together, that’s what is so inspiring and exciting,” Davis said. “We can’t wait to be a part of that and do our part.”
Construction at Allegiant Stadium has carried on throughout the pandemic. After a walk-through earlier this week, Davis said everything remains on target.
“It’s coming along just fine. We’re on schedule,” Davis said. “Obviously everybody is taking big precautions on health. We are following the rules put in place by the governor and the (health officials). Health and safety is first and foremost and always will be.”