The NFL’s Raiders are set to relocate to Las Vegas by 2020, but the new Alliance of American Football will be bringing pro football to Sin City early next year. The new league backed by Bill Polian, Hines Ward and other former faces of the NFL, is slated to kick off with eight inaugural teams in February 2019, less than a week after Super Bowl LIII. And its co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, told the Associated Press this week that the AAF’s first two championship games, including one in April 2019, will be held in Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas has a proven track record of success hosting large-scale sporting events, making it an ideal destination for our championship games,” Ebersol said.
Sam Boyd Stadium, home of the UNLV Rebels, will be the official championship venue for AAF. The venue has also been suggested as a potential temporary home for the Raiders, who could bolt Oakland before 2020 before the completion of their new facility, the under-construction Las Vegas Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.
It remains to be seen whether the AAF could have a permanent home in Vegas, which last hosted a professional football team in the now-defunct United Football League from 2009-2012. The AAF will debut with franchises in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Tempe, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego, and league executives have insisted on future expansion.
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