Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2019

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Price tag for Raiders stadium to climb, which is a good thing, project official says

Draft Pick at Raiders Stadium

Ricahrd Brian/Special to the Sun

Construction continues at the Las Vegas Stadium construction site, future home of the NFL Raiders on Saturday, April 27, 2019.

Now halfway complete, the new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas will see a price increase.

According to Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Stadium Co., that’s not because of cost overruns. It’s because the Raiders have sold so many personal seat licenses, stadium suites, club seats and sponsorships that they have more cash to put into the project.

About $40 million more, Webb said, which will go toward things like more suites and exterior restrooms, more plaza security, a beefed-up area for the working press and an enhanced stadium communications system (what Webb calls the “internet backbone” of the stadium).

Webb made his comments during Thursday’s monthly Las Vegas Stadium Authority board meeting.

“Normally, a person in my position reporting to a public body such as yours has the unenviable task of telling you why a project’s over budget,” Webb said. “That’s not what this is about. This is about good news, as sales have exceeded our budgeted performance.”

Webb didn’t get into specific numbers for sales of the aforementioned items, but he did call them “very robust.”

“We now have funding available to do some additional things in the stadium,” Webb said. “Undertaking these building enhancements now, rather than at some future time, allows us to take advantage of the economies of scale while we have the contractors mobilized and on-site. They simply must be done now or they become virtually impractical.”

One of the enhanced areas, Webb said, will be a 26,000-square-foot south end zone club space that would hold around 800 fans.

“Essentially, this is converting less-easily sold individual seats into a higher revenue-producing suite package,” Webb said. “In addition, one level up, on the lower-suite concourse, we’re adding 14 suites there. A total of 20 suites all together will be added.”

The security zone around the stadium will also be widened, as per the National Football League’s best-practice security guidelines.

Webb told board members that the stadium is now about 50 percent complete with $880 million of the allotted $1.84 billion to build the stadium paid out. With the extra money put in by the Raiders, the cost of the stadium will grow to $1.88 billion.

About 1,100 people are working daily at the site, Webb said, with that figure expected to grow to about 1,500 in the next six weeks. A parking and transportation plan for the stadium is still being worked on and is expected to be made public in the coming weeks.

While speaking at the meeting, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada CEO Tina Quigley said a new RTC ride share program called Trip to Strip will likely eventually extend service to the stadium.

As for parking, Webb said the Stadium Authority and the Raiders continue to acquire real estate near the stadium for the purpose of providing parking options.

“One such acquisition will more than double the parking that we currently control,” Webb said. “We’re also working with MGM, the county and others to create a first-rate pedestrian experience on the Hacienda (Avenue) overpass over I-15, which will become a pedestrian-only access from the Strip to the stadium on event days.”

Anywhere from 20,000 to 25,000 people would be expected to take advantage of a vehicle-less Hacienda Avenue on event days at the stadium, Webb said.

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