LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Game week has arrived for the Las Vegas Raiders as they get set to welcome the Seattle Seahawks for both teams’ first preseason game Saturday.
The matchup will be the first home game at Allegiant Stadium with fans. Spectators were not allowed inside last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Season ticket holders were treated to a preview Sunday when the team invited fans to watch practice inside the stadium. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people showed up to watch the workout.
Head coach Jon Gruden said it was a preview of what is to come.
“To share it with Raider fans again for the first time in a long time was special,” said Gruden, who is entering his eighth season leading the Raiders, but his fourth on his current stint. “I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when Seattle comes in to start the season. It’s going to be very loud I expect.”
Players said they are also looking forward to packing the stadium fans have affectionately dubbed “The Death Star” due to its sleek, black design.
“For us as players, I thinking having fans around creates that atmosphere that we all crave so much,” said backup quarterback Marcus Mariota. “I was quite enjoyable. I can’t wait to see (Allegiant Stadium) sold out and packed. Our fans always bring the juice.”
The Raiders finished last season with a record of 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Kickoff for the preseason opener is set for Saturday night at 6 p.m.