Allegiant Stadium is already pretty astonishing – but is it World Famed?
It will be come Sunday, thanks to Grambling State University. During halftime of the Raiders' game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band, also known as the "World Famed Tiger Marching Band," is set to perform, becoming the first band to perform a halftime show in Allegiant Stadium history.
The Tiger Marching Band out of Louisiana is accustomed to making history. The band has performed in more Super Bowls than any other, including Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II. They are led by Dr. Nikole Roebuck, the first female band director in school history, and the third in the history of HBCUs.
"For us to be coming to Vegas and Allegiant Stadium – and to be the first band to perform in that stadium at an NFL event – it's another first for us, and we're very excited," said Dr. Roebuck.
This halftime show with Grambling State University is nearly 16 months in the making.
Raiders Owner Mark Davis and the team initially contacted Roebuck and her band prior to the start of the 2020 season, when the Raiders were looking for the band to be the halftime show for the team's first-ever game at Allegiant Stadium. However, due to COVID restrictions, fans weren't in attendance and the band also postponed their traveling schedule.
"We went through the pandemic, and now we're back traveling as normal and performing," Roebuck said. "And they reached back out to us and asked if we were still interested in coming out to Vegas to perform. And here we are on our way to Vegas."
The halftime performance will hold even more significance due to ties between the university and the Silver and Black.
The late Willie Brown, Raiders' legendary cornerback and Pro Football Hall of Famer, was a Grambling State alumnus. At GSU, Brown was coached by FCS football icon Eddie Robinson, and was inducted in the the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2012. The halftime show will come days after the two-year remembrance of Brown's passing.
According to Roebuck, Brown's legacy still reigns supreme and is held dear to the heart of the university.
"His contributions to the university are like none other," she said. "We remember his legacy and everything he contributed to not only athletics, but also Grambling State University."
Five other Raiders alumni were also products of Grambling State: Al Dotson, Andrew Glover, Albert Lewis, Willie Williams and Nemiah Wilson.
One of the members of the Tiger Marching Band playing on Sunday is freshman saxophonist Nevaeha Kline. Kline is a Las Vegas native, who can remember seeing Allegiant Stadium being built from the ground up while in high school. It's safe to say her emotions will be running high playing in her hometown.
"I am very excited to come back home and perform in the World Famed because I never thought, in my freshman year, that I would come back home to perform for an NFL team," said Kline. "I'm happy that the Raiders relocated to Las Vegas because it gives Las Vegas more representation. And this is the first NFL team that Las Vegas has had."
The band has always been known to give the audience a show to remember, mixing a variety of classic and modern pop songs for everyone in attendance to sing and dance along to. When asked what fans can expect from the band this Sunday, their World Famed band director decided to keep it a surprise.
"I would just say, 'Hey, look out Vegas, because the World Famed is heading your way!'"
Take a look at all of the Raiders' players that played for Grambling State University.