Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium in 2005
|Former names||Las Vegas Stadium|
Las Vegas Silver Bowl
Sam Boyd Silver Bowl
|Address||7000 East Russell Road|
|Owner||University of Nevada, Las Vegas|
|Operator||University of Nevada, Las Vegas|
|Capacity||36,800 (expandable to 40,000)|
Natural grass (1999–2002)
Natural grass (Rugby 7s) (2010–2015)
|Opened||October 23, 1971|
|Construction cost||$3.5 million|
(2015 renovations: $1.2 million)
|Architect||Ellerbe Becket (renovations)|
|UNLV Rebels (NCAA) 1971–2019|
Las Vegas Quicksilvers (NASL) 1977
Las Vegas Seagulls (ASL) 1979
Las Vegas Bowl (NCAA) 1992–2019
Las Vegas Posse (CFL) 1994
Las Vegas Outlaws (XFL) 2001
Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL) 2009–2012
Sam Boyd Stadium is a football stadium in Whitney, Nevada, United States, an unincorporated community in the Las Vegas Valley. It honors Sam Boyd (1910–1993), a major figure in the hotel and casino industry in Las Vegas. The stadium consists of an uncovered horseshoe-shaped single-decked bowl, with temporary seating occasionally erected in the open north end zone. The field has a conventional north-south orientation and is at an elevation of 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level.
The stadium is the home of the UNLV Rebels football team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1971 to present, and the annual Las Vegas Bowl in December from 1992 until 2019. It was also used for high school football championship games and at times regular-season high school games for Bishop Gorman High School. A long time stop on the AMA Supercross Championship beginning in 1990, the final race of the season was located at the stadium every year until the upcoming 2020 season when the stadium was moved to the second to last race. From 2010 to 2019, it hosted the USA Sevens leg of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series in the sevens version of rugby union.
Several teams called the stadium home over the years, including the Las Vegas Quicksilvers of the North American Soccer League, the Las Vegas Posse of the Canadian Football League, the Las Vegas Outlaws of the original XFL, and the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.
The stadium was completed on October 23, 1971, at a cost of $3.5 million. Originally known as Las Vegas Stadium, the name was changed to Las Vegas Silver Bowl in 1978, Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in 1984 and Sam Boyd Stadium on April 26, 1994. The seating capacity was 15,000 from 1971 until 1977, raised to 32,000 in 1978 and to 36,800 in 1999. Except from 1999 to 2002, the stadium has had an artificial turf surface. A $1.2 million renovation during the summer of 2015 replaced field turf that hadn't been changed out in more than a decade and was severely worn from usage. Additionally, two rows totaling 860 seats were removed from the east and west sidelines to widen the field and drop Sam Boyd's capacity to 35,500.
In 2011, UNLV began exploring building a new stadium to replace Sam Boyd Stadium. In 2017, it was announced that the Oakland Raiders would move to Las Vegas and a new stadium, Allegiant Stadium began construction. The UNLV Rebels will join the Raiders at the new stadium in 2020.
In 2016, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis physically toured the stadium to assess the stadium as a possible temporary home if the team moved to Las Vegas. It was suggested that Sam Boyd Stadium could have served as a temporary home for the Raiders should fan support in Oakland fall to levels that could not reasonably be accommodated at the facility (the Los Angeles Chargers came to a similar arrangement and played at the StubHub Center, a stadium that is even smaller than Sam Boyd Stadium, while in the 1990s the Tennessee Oilers came to a similar arrangement in Memphis with Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and Nashville with Vanderbilt Stadium after they left Houston before their new stadium was ready). A fall in fan support in Oakland never occurred and the Raiders later signed a stadium lease for 2018 and after looking at their options a 2019 lease with a 2020 option in Oakland rendering Sam Boyd Stadium not needed by the team. Furthermore, the stadium required renovations in order for it to be sufficient to serve as a temporary home and with the stadium to be abandoned when construction of Allegiant Stadium is completed, the Raiders found that financially impractical and they stayed in Oakland.
On November 23, 2019, the Rebels defeated San Jose State 38-35 in the team's last game at the stadium. On December 21, 2019, the Washington Huskies defeated the Boise State Broncos 38-7 in the last Las Vegas Bowl held at the stadium.
The last event at Sam Boyd Stadium was scheduled to be a Monster Energy Supercross race on April 25, 2020, but that event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNLV’s contract with Allegiant Stadium prohibited any events from taking place at the stadium after June 30, 2020, leaving the stadium dormant after that date unless scheduling issues by the Raiders allowed UNLV to play here as a secondary stadium. The exact future of the stadium remains up in the air, as UNLV officials are considering selling, demolishing or remodeling the stadium for secondary use.
Due to scheduling issues with the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium, UNLV moved its September 5, 2020 home game to Sam Boyd Stadium.
From 1992 through 2019, the stadium was the site of the annual Las Vegas Bowl. In the later years of the bowl game at the stadium, the game was very well attended. In 2005, Brigham Young University made its first postseason appearance since 2001 and excited BYU fans over-filled the stadium; the announced attendance was a record 40,053. The following season, BYU returned to the Las Vegas Bowl as a nationally ranked team. Additional seating was arranged at Sam Boyd Stadium for the 2006 game; the resulting attendance of 44,615 was the largest crowd to watch a team sports event in the history of the state of Nevada. In 2007, BYU made its third straight appearance and attendance was 40,712. BYU made its fourth straight appearance 2008, ranked #16 in the nation and faced off against the Arizona Wildcats who made their first bowl appearance since 1998. Arizona won the contest, 31–21; 40,047 attended the game which featured David Hasselhoff singing the national anthem.
The stadium hosted the Las Vegas Posse of the Canadian Football League in 1994, the Las Vegas Outlaws of the original XFL in 2001 and the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League from 2009 to 2011. On November 27, 2009, the Locomotives played the Florida Tuskers in the 2009 UFL Championship Game at Boyd, which the Locos won 20-17 in overtime. Sam Boyd Stadium was originally announced as the host for the 2019 and 2020 Alliance of American Football championship games, but the former was moved to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas and the league later folded halfway through its 2019 season.
Following the 1976 season of the North American Soccer League, the San Diego Jaws decided to relocate and become the Las Vegas Quicksilvers. Despite a roster featuring international superstar Eusébio, the Quicksilvers could only manage an 11–15 record and a 5th-place finish in their division. They averaged an attendance of 7,092 per game. When the 1977 season ended, the franchise opted to move back to San Diego after only one year and became the San Diego Sockers. They were followed by the Las Vegas Seagulls, who played in the American Soccer League. They compiled a record of 7–18–3 in their only season in 1979.
In 1999, the stadium hosted the CONCACAF Champions Cup tournament, which determined the continental champion of North and Central America. The stadium also hosted several Major League Soccer preseason exhibition matches. Spanish superclub Real Madrid defeated Mexico's Santos Laguna 2–1 in a friendly match played on a temporary grass pitch in Sam Boyd Stadium in 2012. The paid attendance was 29,152, which made it the highest attended soccer match in Nevada history.
USA Sevens rugby
The stadium had hosted the USA Sevens rugby tournament every year from 2010 to 2019. The USA Sevens was the largest rugby tournament in North America, drawing over 64,000 fans in 2012. The tournament brought together 16 national teams from all six continents in rugby sevens as part of the World Rugby Sevens Series. The USA Sevens debuted in 2004 in Los Angeles and moved to San Diego in 2007. A temporary grass pitch was installed for the event each year through 2015. The March 2016 event was played on the artificial surface.
In 2010, Sam Boyd Stadium became the host of the Clark County High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, including a 22 feet by 12 feet wall wrap with vintage photos of the inductees that will be displayed in the Southwest concourse of the stadium.
From 1990 until 2019, the final round of the AMA Supercross Championship was held at the venue. The final race at the stadium in 2020 will be the second to final round. Most of the track is located inside the stadium with extensions taken into the area behind the score board. This event also includes the Davey Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout which was first won by Kevin Windham in 1997. From 2011 until 2019, the Monster Energy Cup was held at the venue. Ryan Villopoto won the inaugural 2011 event as did Marvin Musquin in the 2017 event and Eli Tomac in 2018 event. Adam Cianciarulo won the final event at the stadium in 2019.
From 2000 to 2018, Sam Boyd Stadium hosted the Monster Jam World Finals in late March every year; the annual event has changed to rotating venues each year.
In April 2018, the Las Vegas Horse Polo Classic was held at the stadium.
In February 2020, five Major League Rugby matches was played at the stadium over 2 weekends.
- Brewer, Ray (July 24, 2015). "Upgrades to Sam Boyd Stadium Include New Turf, Widened Field". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Sam Boyd Stadium gets $1.2M face-lift". Fox 5 Vegas. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- "Sam Boyd Stadium". UNLV Rebels. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Six gambling businesses named to Forbes' list of 400". Southeast Missourian. (Cape Girardeau). October 10, 1994. p. 8B. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "USA Sevens Signs Letter Of Intent to Bring Tournament to New Venue in 2010" (Press release). USA Sevens, LLC. July 13, 2009. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
- "Print Version". Cstv.com. Retrieved March 15, 2007.
- "UAC Las Vegas construction project". UAC Nevada Construction Division. October 27, 2008.
- Scott, Dylan (2011-01-19). "UNLV acknowledges effort to bring stadium, football to campus - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
- Brewer, Ray (October 18, 2016). "Sanchez envisions UNLV football in Power 5 conference, selling out new stadium". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
- Graziano, Dan (May 27, 2016). "NFL - Oakland Raiders have made progress in move to Las Vegas, owners want facts about stadium". ESPN. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Carplas, Steve (April 1, 2016). "Raiders owner Mark Davis tours UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Gehlken, Michael (March 21, 2019). "Raiders cross finish line for final season in Oakland". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- "Ex-players watch as UNLV wins Sam Boyd Stadium finale, 38-35". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2019-11-24. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
- "Sam Boyd Stadium's future in question as UNLV leaves". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2019-11-22. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
- "UNLV football will play game at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2020". Las Vegas Sun. April 22, 2020.
- "Las Vegas Bowl". Las Vegas Bowl. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Sam Boyd Stadium". UNLV Rebels. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Silver, Steve (December 20, 2008). "Arizona upsets BYU 31-21". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "Sam Boyd Stadium". Football.ballparks.com. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Fact Sheet - Las Vegas All American Classic". lvaac.com. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- Keefer, Case (November 27, 2009). "Locomotives win inaugural UFL championship in overtime". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Benjamin, Cory (October 23, 2018). "Alliance of American Football will host its first two championship games in Las Vegas". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- Associated Press (March 20, 2019). "AAF shifts title game from Vegas to Frisco, Texas". ESPN. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- "1979 Las Vegas Seagulls". Fun While It Lasted. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- Carp, Steve (July 13, 1999). "Pro soccer event set for LV". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Bern, Taylor (August 6, 2012). "Analysis: Real Madrid and Santos Laguna put on good show at Sam Boyd". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
- "Inaugural Leagues Cup final to take place in Las Vegas on September 18". MLSSoccer.com.
- "IRB Sevens World Series heads for Las Vegas" (Press release). International Rugby Board. July 15, 2009. Archived from the original on February 16, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
- Brewer, Ray (July 7, 2010). "High school football hall of fame to be housed at Sam Boyd Stadium". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- "2015 AMA Supercross media guide" (PDF). Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- "3 things to look for at Monster Energy Cup supercross in Las Vegas". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
- Stallo, Chase (October 12, 2016). "Monster Energy Cup Moments". Racer X Online. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- "Adam Cianciarulo wins the 2019 Monster Energy Cup". Supercross Live. 2019-10-20. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
- "Grateful Dead setlists and more". Deadbase.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Jessie, Faith. "The Sport of Luxury: Professional polo is coming to Las Vegas". KSNV. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
|Events and tenants|
| Home of the
Allegiant Stadium (planned)
Bulldog Stadium (California Bowl)
| Host of the
Las Vegas Bowl
Allegiant Stadium (planned)