Las Vegas Sun

March 21, 2018

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The quest continues for parking lots around space-starved Raiders stadium


Copyright 2017 LV Stadium Company, LLC

This rendering shows the Las Vegas Raiders stadium west of Interstate 15 and the Strip. Construction on the 65,000-seat stadium is hoped to be completed in time for the 2020 NFL season.

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority and Raiders are still searching for parking spots.

Parking is one of the issues expected to be discussed and potentially acted on Thursday during an authority meeting, where an agreement with the NFL franchise will be finalized. They’ll tie up loose ends on a development agreement, personal seat license particulars and the joint-use arrangement with UNLV, among other issues.

But parking isn’t as urgent because the Raiders have until September to present Clark County with a plan that includes acquired or leased land to be used for dedicated stadium parking on event days.

The 62-acre plot of land where the stadium is being constructed only has room for about 2,400 spaces of a required 16,000 parking spaces on the Russell Road stadium site. Language included in the final versions of the development and lease agreements allows for off-site parking to meet the parking requirements.

The lease agreement states the Raiders shall provide and maintain sufficient parking facilities typical of a first-class, premier NFL facility.

The Raiders are responsible for parking for 30 years related to the project and will be entitled to revenues generated at any on- or off-premise parking site.

“Parking has always been the responsibility of the Raiders,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal of Applied Analysis and the lead staff member for the stadium authority. “They have operational control, they are responsible for the construction for the stadium and they’re responsible for any cost overruns and cost of surrounding infrastructure; including parking, roadways and pedestrian movement and all that stuff.”

The Raiders have been working with the county to come up with possible parking solutions. The preferred option is the Bali Hai Golf Course located just across Interstate 15 because of its proximity to the stadium.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said work continues in talks with the Bali Hai site, but the process has been slow because Billy Walters, the course owner, is facing legal trouble. Walters is in prison for fraud not related to this golf course.

A pending federal lawsuit against the county calls for a $75 million payment for past and future underpaid rent on the Bali Hai land. Clark County obtained the land from the Bureau of Land Management in 1998 and leased a portion to Walters.

Walters paid no rent for years on his 100-year agreement with the county because the course did not produce a profit. The agreement was amended in 2011 and calls for $100,000 annual payments.

“That one is extremely complicated because you have the Justice Department suing the county there on that lease that was given years ago,” Sisolak said. “We’ve had some preliminary discussions with them and they haven’t moved very far along. Once you get into legal stuff, it takes a little time.”

Other entities have spoken with Raiders officials about addressing parking and transportation issues. They include:

• Utilizing MGM Resorts International parking structures across Interstate 15 from the stadium has been brought up frequently by fans. MGM owns Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur immediately across I-15 and New York-New York and MGM Grand further north across Tropicana Avenue. MGM officials said they have had discussions with the Raiders on parking but didn’t reveal specifics from those talks.

• The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has had talks with the Raiders about transportation plans.

The RTC already operates special routes via its Golden Knights Express, which transports riders on four routes to Vegas Golden Knights games at T-Mobile Arena on the Strip. It could easily do something similar for the Raiders.

• Pickup and drop-off locations to and from potential Raiders off-site parking lots.

• The Las Vegas Monorail already stretches from the SLS to MGM Grand. In November the country greenlighted a $4.5 million extension to Mandalay Bay. The proposed expansion path would extend the monorail south down Koval Lane, west on Reno Avenue, south on Giles Street, west on Mandalay Bay Road and across Las Vegas Boulevard to a station between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay properties.

“We plan to finalize the county land-use approval process this month,” said Ingrid Reisman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Las Vegas Monorail. “We are still working on a development timeline that anticipates opening in time for the inaugural season in 2020.”

• There’s no plan to build a parking garage on the stadium site, but language in the lease agreement states that if that were to occur, the stadium authority would own the garage, as it will the stadium and the land where it sits. The Raiders would receive any revenue generated by the structure.

Despite the perceived problem, Aguero said there is no doubt the parking issue will be figured out because it is of interest to all groups involved with the stadium dealings.

“The Raiders because they’ve always wanted parking, the county does because they want to make sure the traffic and transportation work and the stadium authority wants that because essentially the public owns the stadium and the stadium needs to have sufficient parking,” Aguero said. “All parties are concerned with that.”