Las Vegas Sun

September 24, 2017

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Stadium Authority updated on key contracts

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Christopher DeVargas

Steve Hill, chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, listens during a meeting to finalize plans for a $1.9 billion stadium for the Raiders, Thursday March 9, 2017.

The real work of hammering out a dozen contracts for the new Raiders stadium happens in the quiet, far away from public settings such as Thursday’s meeting of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board.

An initial meeting about UNLV’s joint-use agreement with the Raiders took place in recent days. A sit-down involving union leaders and construction companies Mortenson and McCarthy closely followed. Bankers and lawyers delayed a planned discussion of the personal seat license contract draft as they review it one final time.

The board was updated on the progress of the past few weeks. Contracts that must be completed by October will likely be presented for the board’s approval next month. That timeline allows the Raiders to remain on schedule to start construction on the $1.9 million facility.

“We’re going to have to start to finalize some things,” Stadium Authority board chairman Steve Hill said. “We’ve got a lot of agreements that need to be done, and the Raiders are looking to break ground before the end of the year. All of that work needs to be done so they can move forward.”

Stadium Authority staff Jeremy Aguero addressed a lengthy list of potential issues in the UNLV joint-use agreement while explaining a delay in the personal seat license deal. Both contracts remain works in process, and neither received major scrutiny from the board at the meeting.

Board member Bill Hornbuckle, however, asked about how future compensation payments to UNLV for the closure of Sam Boyd Stadium fit into the joint-use deal.

The Stadium Authority board plays the role of “arbitrator,” as Hill described it, in the joint-use agreement negotiations between UNLV and the Raiders. Both UNLV and Stadium Authority representatives termed the first meeting with the Raiders as positive, but weighty concerns involving significant money still must be worked out.

Aguero’s list of issues for consideration covered a broad range:

• How much rent the university will pay to the Raiders events company.

• What funding UNLV will receive from suites and game-day revenues.

• How the playing field will be marked to represent the Rebels.

“At times, we can help be helpful in terms of looking for alternatives if there are differences of opinion and figure out how to bridge those gaps, but UNLV and the Raiders are working well together right now,” Hill said.

Hill said the next five agreements to come before the board will be the joint-use, community benefits, personal seat license, development and non-relocation, which ties the Raiders to Las Vegas as much as any document can.

Also soon to become public is a completed design for the 65,000-seat stadium. The design team likely will speak publicly to the board at its July meeting, with an actual design slated for reveal in August.

Specifications related to Senate Bill 1, the state legislation passed in October that authorizes $750 million in public funding to build the stadium, will be addressed in September.

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