Sam Boyd Stadium

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Sam Boyd Stadium
Sam Boyd Stadium from the air July 2014.jpg
Former names Las Vegas Stadium (1971–1977)
Las Vegas Silver Bowl (1978–1984)
Sam Boyd Silver Bowl (1984–1993)
Location 7000 East Russell Road
Whitney, Nevada 89122-8338 USA
Coordinates 36°05′11″N 115°01′0″W / 36.08639°N 115.01667°W / 36.08639; -115.01667Coordinates: 36°05′11″N 115°01′0″W / 36.08639°N 115.01667°W / 36.08639; -115.01667
Owner University of Nevada Las Vegas
Operator University of Nevada Las Vegas
Capacity 35,500[1] (expandable to 40,000)
Surface Astroturf (1971–1998)
Grass (1999–2002)
DURAPlay (2003–present)
Grass (only for Rugby 7s Tournament) (2010–present)
Broke ground 1970
Opened October 23, 1971[2]
Renovated 1999, 2015
Expanded 1978, 1999
Construction cost $3.5 million
(most recent renovation: $1.2 million)
Architect Ellerbe Becket (renovations)
UNLV Rebels (NCAA) (1971–present)
Las Vegas Quicksilvers (NASL) (1977)
Las Vegas Seagulls (ASL) (1979)
Las Vegas Bowl (NCAA) (1992–present)
Las Vegas Posse (CFL) (1994)
Las Vegas Outlaws (XFL) (2001)
Las Vegas All-American Classic (NCAA) (2004–2006)
Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL)
Monster Jam World Finals (2000-present)[3] (2009–2012)
USA Sevens (Rugby Sevens) (2010–present)

Sam Boyd Stadium, also known by its former name, the Silver Bowl, is a football stadium located in Whitney, Nevada, an unincorporated community in the Las Vegas Valley. The stadium is named after Sam Boyd, a major figure in the hotel/casino industry in Las Vegas. The stadium consists of an uncovered horseshoe-shaped single-decked bowl. Temporary seating is occasionally erected in the open north end zone as needed.

The stadium is the home of the UNLV football team and the annual Las Vegas Bowl each December. The stadium is also used for high school football championship games, and at times regular-season high school games for Bishop Gorman High School. The final race of the Monster Energy Supercross series is located here every year. Since 2010, it has hosted the USA Sevens leg of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series in the sevens version of rugby union.[4] The stadium is the former home of the NASL's Las Vegas Quicksilvers, the CFL's Las Vegas Posse, the XFL's Las Vegas Outlaws, and the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives.


The stadium was completed in 1971 at a cost of $3.5 million. It was originally known as Las Vegas Stadium. The name was changed to the Las Vegas Silver Bowl in 1978 and then Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in 1984 and finally in April 1994 to Sam Boyd Stadium. The seating capacity was 15,000 from 1971 until 1977. The capacity was raised to 32,000 in 1978, and then to 36,800 in 1999.[5] Except from 1999 to 2002, the stadium has had an artificial turf surface.[6] 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.[1]

College football[edit]

Sam Boyd Stadium

Since December 18, 1992, the stadium has been the site of the annual Las Vegas Bowl.[7] In recent years, the game has been very well attended. In 2005, the football team from Brigham Young University made its first postseason appearance since 2001. Excited BYU fans over-filled the stadium; the announced attendance for the 2005 game was a record 40,053 people. 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 in the Las Vegas Bowl; attendance was 40,712. In 2008, BYU made its fourth straight appearance ranked as the #16 team 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 people attended the game which featured David Hasselhoff singing the national anthem.[8][9]

Sam Boyd Stadium was also the site of all three Western Athletic Conference title football games (1996–1998).[10]


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.[11]

In 1999 the stadium hosted the CONCACAF Champions Cup soccer tournament. More recently, on August 5, 2012, Real Madrid (Spain) defeated Santos Laguna (Mexico) 2-1 in a friendly match played on a temporary grass pitch in Sam Boyd Stadium. The paid attendance was 29,152,[12] which made it the highest attended soccer match in Nevada history.

USA Sevens rugby[edit]

Main article: USA Sevens

The stadium has hosted the USA Sevens rugby tournament every February since 2010. The USA Sevens is the largest rugby tournament in North America, drawing over 64,000 fans in 2012. The tournament brings 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.[4] A temporary grass pitch is installed for the event each year.[13]

Other sports events[edit]

The stadium hosted the Las Vegas Posse of the Canadian Football League in 1994, the Las Vegas Outlaws of the 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.[14]

Sam Boyd Stadium is set to house 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.[15]

Other events[edit]

Since 1990, the final round of the AMA Supercross Championship has been held at the venue, currently in early May.[16] 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.

Since 2000, the stadium has been home to the Monster Jam World Finals which will be going into its 17th year of competition in 2016.

During the 1990s, The Grateful Dead played 14 shows at the stadium.[17]

On October 29, 2005, the grounds of the venue were host to the daytime portion of the two-day Vegoose music festival. This festival is an annual event, but ended its run in 2008.


  1. ^ a b Brewer, Ray (July 24, 2015). "Upgrades to Sam Boyd Stadium Include New Turf, Widened Field". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved August 7, 2015. 
  2. ^ "UNLV Official Athletic Site - University of Nevada-Las Vegas". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  3. ^ "Live chat with commissioner Michael Huyghue". United Football League. March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "USA Sevens Signs Letter Of Intent to Bring Tournament to New Venue in 2010" (Press release). USA Sevens, LLC. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "UAC Las Vegas construction project". UAC Nevada Construction Division. 2008-10-27. 
  7. ^ "Las Vegas Bowl". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  8. ^ Sam Boyd Stadium
  9. ^ "Arizona upsets BYU 31-21". Las Vegas Sun. December 20, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sam Boyd Stadium". Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  11. ^ "1979 Las Vegas Seagulls". Fun While It Lasted. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "IRB Sevens World Series heads for Las Vegas" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  14. ^ "Locomotives win inaugural UFL championship in overtime". Las Vegas Sun. November 27, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 2015 AMA Supercross media guide
  17. ^ "Grateful Dead setlists and more". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]