A dispute with the Raiders over UNLV’s nonconference football games next season at Allegiant Stadium might cause the Rebels to play two more games at Sam Boyd Stadium, according to sources close to the situation.
UNLV is scheduled to play its first three games at Allegiant before the Raiders play a regular-season home game.
All indications are UNLV’s opening game with California on Aug. 29 will be played as scheduled at Allegiant. But the dispute with the Raiders might force UNLV’s games against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 5 and Arizona State on Sept. 12 to be moved to Sam Boyd.
“We continue to work closely with the Raiders through myriad details as we transition to Allegiant Stadium for the 2020 season,” a statement released by the UNLV sports information department said. “Right now, our top priority is the football coaching search.”
The Raiders are expected to play two of their four preseason games at the new stadium. Team officials declined to comment Wednesday.
The news comes less than a week after UNLV celebrated what was thought to be the final game during the 49th year at the stadium on the outskirts of Henderson.
Sources said no decision has been made by the Raiders on whether they will try to force those games to be moved out of Allegiant. UNLV has a joint-use agreement to occupy Allegiant Stadium with the Raiders, who move to Las Vegas next year.
One stipulation is that UNLV doesn’t schedule more than two nonconference games, but that does not include the initial season at the $2 billion, 65,000-seat stadium near the Strip.
UNLV has spent this season honoring what is supposed to be its final year in Sam Boyd.
The Rebels invited their former players for Saturday’s 38-35 victory over San Jose State, and more than 200 attended, including ex-quarterbacks Randall Cunningham and Kenny Mayne. They took part in the pregame ceremony, with Cunningham, who played in the NFL for 16 seasons, helping with the coin toss.
Sam Boyd Stadium’s future already was uncertain, and the university is weighing its options regarding what to do with the stadium and surrounding area, which makes up 70 acres. Clark County also owns the adjoining 92 acres.
UNLV could sell the land, execute parcel exchanges or keep the property and establish a satellite campus or research laboratory. The school also could keep the stadium in case the move to Allegiant isn’t successful.