Las Vegas' Glitzy New Stadium Now Named for Budget Airline Allegiant
Allegiant Air is moving into the big leagues. Or, at least the company’s name is.
“Allegiant Stadium” is now the official name of the new pro football stadium currently under construction in Las Vegas, officials announced Monday.
The stadium will be home to the National Football League’s Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders and will host the home games for the UNLV Rebels, the local college team. Allegiant Stadium is expected to host other big-name acts that pass through Las Vegas.
Terms of the naming rights deal where not disclosed, though the decision by Las Vegas-based Allegiant to attach its name to the $1.9 billion stadium likely goes beyond hometown marketing.
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Instead, Allegiant becomes the name sponsor for a brand-new, NFL-caliber stadium that seats 65,000 people in one of America’s glitziest cities. For Raiders games broadcast on TV, the deal ensures viewers will hear dozens of Allegiant references. Similarly, every blockbuster concert that hits Sin City will put Allegiant’s name on the lips of attendees and fans alike.
In a statement, Allegiant acknowledged the deal “presents a global branding opportunity … as Allegiant will have its name showcased on the 1.75 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art domed stadium that will also host many world-class major sports and entertainment events.”
It’s also likely no coincidence that the deal comes as the ultra low-cost carrier's footprint has expanded rapidly across the nation. Allegiant was once a relatively niche outfit, flying customers nonstop from small markets to leisure destinations in places like Florida and its hometown of Las Vegas.
Allegiant still does that, course. Routes like Minot, North Dakota-Las Vegas and Ogdensburg, New York-Fort Lauderdale remain staples of the company's route map. But Allegiant has looked further afield this decade, expanding to major airports like Newark Liberty, Baltimore/Washington and Pittsburgh, among others. Allegiant also has opted to compete on routes between larger markets, such as Austin-Cleveland, Pittsburgh-New Orleans and Denver-Cincinnati.
In the company's statement, Allegiant CEO Maury Gallagher pledged the stadium tie-up would “amplify our growing brand as the only U.S. airline focused on leisure travel and experiences.”
Other North American carriers also have attached their names to stadiums. American Airlines has its name attached to two arenas, including Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena and the American Airlines Center in Dallas. In Chicago, the "United Center" has been the name of that city's sports arena since it opened in 1994. Alaska Airlines has naming rights deals for sports facilities at both the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Alaska in Anchorage.
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Even now-defunct TWA got in on the act, with its name initially gracing the Trans World Dome in St. Louis from its opening in 1995 until the carrier's demise in 2001.
Most recently, United Airlines sought to add its name the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Initially, that deal would have christened the facility as the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum, part of a sponsorship that would have helped pay to modernize the stadium that dates to the 1920s. However, United and the University of Southern California -- the stadium's primary tenant -- eventually agreed to use the name "United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum" after some complained the original naming rights deal disrespected the World War I soldiers that Memorial Stadium was named to commemorate, according to NBC Los Angeles.
But given the price-tag and state-of-the-art finishes to the Las Vegas stadium, Allegiant's deal may represent the highest-profile deal yet by a US airline for a sports complex.