Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Parking study: Raiders stadium site holds only 15 percent of required spaces

Raiders stadium

Courtesy of MANICA Architecture

A look at the proposed $1.9 billion domed football stadium for the Oakland Raiders and UNLV football in Las Vegas.

Parking at the new Raiders stadium will prove much harder to come by than a ticket to the game.

The Russell Road site purchased by the team last month will hold less than 15 percent of the parking spaces required for Clark County to certify the 65,000-seat stadium for occupancy, according to a traffic impact study commissioned by the Raiders.

The team needs the certificate in order to begin work on the $1.9 billion stadium, on which it is scheduled to break ground by the end of the year. The tight 30-month construction calendar to be ready for the 2020 NFL season leaves little room for delays in permitting.

The study, conducted by design consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates, found that just 2,400 of the 16,250 parking spaces needed will fit on the 62-acre site acquired by the team for $77.5 million. County code requires a quarter-space per event attendee, which equates to 16,250 for a Raiders game at the stadium. Those 2,400 spaces likely will be reserved on game days for luxury suite holders, club seat ticket holders, players, coaches and team staff.

To handle a capacity crowd of 65,000 people for a Raiders game on a Sunday afternoon, the report concludes satellite parking sites throughout the valley will be needed. Potential satellite locations could include the northwest valley, Henderson and the south valley near the M Resort. Specific sites will be identified in an addendum to the study at a later date.

Those sites would combine with express bus service from the Regional Transportation Commission to create park-and-ride facilities. The study also suggests coordinating with neighborhood casinos for direct shuttle-bus service to football games.

The Raiders still could attempt to purchase additional parcels in the vicinity of the stadium to create more parking spaces, but asking prices for such land jumped precipitously as expected following NFL approval of the Raiders relocation in March.

In addition to the lack of available parking at the stadium, analysis showed Flamingo Road, Russell Road and Tropicana Avenue would suffer major congestion from game-day traffic going into and out of the facility.

“Based on the preliminary traffic impact evaluations, the off-site stadium areas will need to be provided throughout the Las Vegas Valley,” the study finds.

The report provides the most detailed estimates to date of the anticipated makeup of a Las Vegas Raiders crowd. It assumes a 50-50 split of tourists and locals attending a typical game, with roughly 83 percent of 32,500 locals arriving by car and 13 percent coming by taxi or ride-share.

The study assumes just more than three people per personal vehicle or ride-share, using information from other NFL stadiums and from UNLV men’s basketball attendance. Based on this model, a significant portion of those driving would need to use the park-and-ride option.

Nearly 20,000 of the tourists expected to attend each game would walk to the stadium, according to the report. The study draws on information from the most recent visitor profile of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which shows 23,800 hotel rooms within one mile — an estimated walk of 20-25 minutes — of the stadium.

That heavy flow of pedestrians would require the construction of a dedicated pedestrian walkway adjacent to the Hacienda Avenue overpass. The report suggests building the walkway wide enough to handle a future monorail station at Mandalay Bay.

The traffic plan outlined in the study features 36 recommendations for on-site and off-site improvements including street widening, additional traffic signals, and improvements to the 215 Beltway. Hacienda Avenue, Dean Martin Drive and Polaris Avenue would require construction work to handle game-day traffic.

The study also reinforces the need for a series of planned upgrades to Interstate 15 that Nevada Department of Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon said last month likely will not be completed in time for the stadium’s planned opening date.

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