Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2019

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Official: ‘Everything is on time’ with Raiders stadium

Raiders Stadium

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

After addressing an hour of communications issues connecting board members of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority who weren’t present at today’s meeting via phone, the issues were heard loud and clear.

Though the final meeting before the Raiders take the finalized Las Vegas stadium documents that were again approved in form at today’s meeting to the NFL owners didn’t get off to a great start, the meetings yielded big developments.

The stadium builders, McCarthy Building Cos. and Mortenson Construction, and the Raiders presented the guaranteed maximum price of $1.8 billion and stadium design features for the planned 65,000-seat domed Las Vegas Raiders stadium.

The price is comprised of the Raiders’ equity contribution of $850 million, public funding from Clark County hotel room taxes of $750 million and $250 million from an NFL G-4 loan.

Construction of the stadium makes up the biggest portion of the stadium costs at $1.39 billion. Documents show the stadium is expected to be complete Aug. 1, 2020.

“Everything is on time and there is a lot of activity on the site,” Raiders President Marc Badain said. “We’re almost done with excavation, and we have a cement batch on site now.”

The price tag does not include an estimated $100 million Henderson team office and practice facility, off-site parking and shuttle services. With that included, the total project cost is more than $2 billion, said Don Webb, chief operating officer for the Las Vegas Stadium Co.

The Raiders item is scheduled to be heard Tuesday during NFL league meetings, where Badain doesn’t foresee any issues. The team will then travel from there and attend the Wednesday authority meeting.

“It’s certainly no rubber stamp, but signs are positive (the process will move forward),” Badain said.

The Stadium Authority next meets Wednesday, when it will ask the county to issue construction bonds for the project. If approved, the stadium land would be transferred to the Stadium Authority within 10 days.

The Clark County Commission next meets April 3, when it can consider the issuance of bonds.

Senate Bill 1 states the Raiders must spend $100 million on the stadium project before receiving any of the public money generated by a 0.88 percent tax on hotel rooms in Clark County.

Documents show the Raiders have met that threshold, having already spent almost $180 million on the project.

Stadium features

Designed to not only host NFL football games, the stadium can accommodate an array of other events.

“This will truly be a first-class sports and entertainment facility, designed with the other 355 potential events days in a the front of our minds,” Webb said.

The stadium, 226 feet high at its tallest point, will feature 191 suites, expandable for the Super Bowl, nine clubs, with 3 field level. One club is at the home end of the field, and Raiders players will walk through the club during pregame player introductions, similar to the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington.

“It adds a pretty special element for club seat holders, and the players enjoy that aspect of it as well,” Badain said. “Even when our players go through the tunnel in Dallas, even though they’re the enemy, there’s a certain level of excitement when you walk through that environment and the fans are there. Some are supportive and some aren’t. We wanted to incorporate that in this building.”

A total of 40 percent of the stadium’s seating will be in the lower bowl.

The capacity varies with events.

For a typical NFL game, the capacity will be 62,500, with additional standing-room-only areas making up the rest of the 65,000 number floated around since the project’s inception. For Major League Soccer games, the capacity will be 60,000, while for concerts it’s between 50,000 and 72,000. The stadium could host a Super Bowl, with a capacity of 70,000 fans.

The Raiders, UNLV, the Raiderettes and visiting teams will have dedicated locker rooms, which can be configured into multiple private rooms for performers at concerts and other events, Webb said.

Ticket purchases

Oakland season ticket holders started booking trips Tuesday to Las Vegas for personal seat license purchase meetings with the Raiders. The deposit list is made up of 43 percent Nevadans and 57 percent of those outside the state, with Northern and Southern California making up the bulk of that.

So far, 1,1100 people who placed a $100 seat license deposits have booked appointments from outside of Las Vegas to meet with team representatives at the Raiders Stadium preview center at Town Square mall, Badain said.

Badain said an un expected benefit of those coming from out of town is a tourism boost, as some are planning multiple-day trips around their ticket meetings.

All other depositors will be able to schedule meetings to view tickets options by the end of the year, depending on their seat level interest.

Room tax performance

The Stadium Authority projects the room tax will generate $49.9 million in fiscal 2018, increasing 0.38 percent to $50.1 million in fiscal 2019. Thereafter, the authority said, the rate must increase by 1.8 percent a year to maintain the 1.5 times debt ratio coverage as laid out by Senate Bill 1.

The board notes several factors suggest the lodging tax will meet or exceed the required growth rate, including the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion and development of hotel-casinos within the stadium district, among other factors.

The document laid out factors that could slow growth, including: acts of God, terrorism, war and a deep depression. Many of these reasons would be considered “force majeure,” or an unforeseen circumstance causing an unexpected result.

Las Vegas has proven to be resilient after major events, citing the valley’s comeback after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and recession, the document stated.

“We’re comfortable that over a period of time, the average growth rate will be at least 1.8 percent,” said Steve Hill, Stadium Authority chairman. “We’ve never seen it be below 1.8 percent. So, it’s not a difficult projection from that standpoint.”