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March 26, 2019

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Just how much will those Raiders seat licenses cost?

Raiders Stadium Renderings

Copyright 2017 LV Stadium Company, LLC

In this rendering of the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium, fans look out on the Strip from the sliding doors on the north concourse. Construction on the 65,000-seat stadium will begin in November and will be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season.

Start filling up your piggy bank now to prepare for the day the bill comes due on your Las Vegas Raiders personal seat licenses.

Thursday’s meeting of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board included a discussion of a draft personal seat license agreement with the Raiders. While the document itself contained little intrigue, Raiders president Marc Badain briefly discussed the potential cost of the licenses, or PSLs, to buy season tickets for the football team beginning in 2020.

Badain confirmed that the average cost of a PSL will be just less than $4,000 per seat, saying prices "will range from much lower than that to much higher than that." How much you pay depends largely on how good your seats are -- the closer you get to the field, the more money you can expect to shell out.

Raiders Stadium Renderings

This rendering shows the Raiders stadium in Las Vegas. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season. Launch slideshow »

At an average of $4,000 per license, a family of four would spend $16,000 for the right to buy Raiders season tickets. That one-time expense does not include the annual cost of the season tickets. At the Oakland Coliseum this year, season ticket prices range from $330 for upper deck seats in the end zone to $1,725 for club seats near the 50-yard line, although season seats are sold out.

The $4,000 figure requires little heavy math: divide the $250 million the Raiders need to raise by the expected 65,000 seats in the stadium. The Raiders have received more than 50,000 deposits of $100 per person toward future PSL sales, just 43 percent of which came from Nevadans. Although the stadium authority ultimately will grant the seat licenses, it will not pay any shortfall if the Raiders fail to raise $250 million toward the $1.9 billion project.

A deficit remains unlikely. The Atlanta Falcons sold more than 55,000 PSLs for $256 million at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opens this year, with another 6,000 left to sell as of late July. Raiders lender Bank of America financed the team’s loans on PSL projections of between $350 million and $500 million, based on other recent NFL stadium sales figures.

“$250 million is a bit modest and something that we find very achievable,” said Elliott McCabe, managing director of Bank of America’s sports and finance advisory group, who presented on the bank’s financing of up to $850 million in loans to the Raiders.

In addition to discussing seat licenses, Raiders officials addressed their stadium parking deficit but offered few specifics.

“(Plans are) well under way, but still a work in progress,” Raiders consultant Don Webb of Cordell Corporation said. “I’m not embarrassed to say we are not prepared to share the final plan with you.”

Webb reviewed with board members a map of the stadium site and surrounding areas, identifying as many as 75,000 parking spaces at existing Strip properties and the nearby Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV as potential solutions. He also mentioned the nearby Bali Hai Golf Club site currently leased to Billy Walters by Clark County -- a location that could create 13,000 parking spaces and largely solve the parking problem.

“It’s no surprise to us that 62-acre site … can’t support 16,000 parking spaces,” Webb said.

Badain talked about the possibility of both surface parking and garages, as well as the use of ride-share and shuttles in a collaborative approach.

“We’re leaving no stone unturned,” Badain said. “We’re asking for a little bit of patience. I know nobody has any.”

Board member Bill Hornbuckle noted that the Raiders will have one year from approval of the project by Clark County to finalize a parking plan, meaning the authority board will finish its votes on a dozen required agreements in October long before the parking plan sets in stone.

"The notion that we would vote on something of this scale ... without parking resolved is concerning," Hornbuckle said.

Officials from all sides requested patience on the much-discussed community benefits plan as well. Lynn Littlejohn, who runs community benefits for stadium contractor Mortenson, told the board and interest groups that the process is ongoing.

“People are thinking they’re behind the 8-ball, that they and their company have been left out,” Littlejohn said. “We just want to assure the board and everybody here that’s not the case. There have been no workforce opportunities that have been missed.”

Tempers grew hot on the community benefits issue at July’s stadium authority meeting when more than 1,000 job seekers showed up at the Clark County Government Center expecting hiring opportunities. They were lured by a misleading flyer from community activist Stan Washington, who repeatedly expresses concern about community benefits during public comment at board meetings.

The board’s next scheduled meeting will take place September 14.

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