UNLV Hopes Move To Raiders' Stadium Boosts Health Of Program
UNLV football is "committed to moving" to the Raiders' new 65,000-seat stadium when it is completed, and the school is "going all in that this is the right move for the short- and long-term health of a program that has teetered between critical and serious condition for many years," according to Mark Anderson of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. UNLV’s run of losing seasons, "interrupted by brief bowl appearances, has soured and chased away fans." Even with one of its better teams this season, announced crowds for the first two home games "didn’t crack 15,000." The school used to "draw relatively large crowds for the more notable games." Four of the "top five average home crowds" occurred in the '00s, and the other was in '81. UNLV has not "attracted average crowds of more than 20,000" since '11. Moving to the new Raiders stadium is "part of the sell to fans and recruits that the program is progressing." So is the Fertitta Football Complex, which is "under construction adjacent to the Rebel Park practice fields and scheduled to open next spring." However, UNLV is still "fund-raising to make up" an approximate $5M "deficit to finish the interior of the second floor." What was supposed to be a "recruiting advantage" with the $31M building "very well could be used against UNLV until the money comes through." UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois said, "We’re going to build to the money that we have. The good thing is that we have the foundation" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/2).