By Alan Snel of LVSportsBiz.com
It’s double duty for the natural grass inside Allegiant Stadium for two football games on Friday and Saturday.
The UNLV football field is usually an artificial surface, but the Rebels will face Idaho State on the Raiders’ natural grass as the tee times for the Raider-Patriots game Friday at 5:15 p.m. and the UNLV-Idaho State game Saturday at 12:30 PM are so close to each other.
UNLV prefers an artificial playing field. And typically, Allegiant Stadium rolls in a tray with the UNLV synthetic surface for Rebels football games. UNLV pays over $150,000 per game to play at Raiders-run Allegiant Stadium.
The Raiders play on natural grass, which is in a tray outside the stadium that is inserted into the 62,500-seat domed stadium.
When the Raiders took on the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 14 inside Allegiant Stadium, the rugged state of the playing field drew national attention for this photo posted by LVSportsBiz.com. The natural grass showed wear and tear from the previous two football games played in late July.
UNLV rarely plays on natural grass. The Rebels last competed on grass at Arizona State last September and will be on grass for a home game for the first time since the old Sam Boyd Stadium featured the 1999-02 natural trick. UNLV’s last win on grass was in 2018 at San Diego State. The Rebels are 0-3 on grass since winning the San Diego State Aztecs.
The Rebels football team will have the UNLV arch in midfield and the Mountain West logos painted on the natural grass surface. The only difference is that the end zones will always say “LAS VEGAS” and “RAIDERS”.
It should be noted that the natural grass of the Raiders will be replaced before the NFL regular season.