On March 2017, the National Football League team owners agreed on a 31-1 voting to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. They’re scheduled to start playing as the Las Vegas Raiders on the 2020 NFL season. The new team needs a new home, and Las Vegas is always building. Soon a new stadium is set to rise to serve as the home of the Raiders and as another venue for world class shows and entertainment.
Located about 62 acres west of Mandalay Bay, on Russell road and hacienda Avenue, between Polaris Avenue and Dean Martin Drive, the Las Vegas Stadium is planned to rise as the newest stadium in the city. The stadium began construction on September 2017 with a budget of $1.8 billion. It’s planned to be finished just on time for the 2020 NFL season. The stadium will also be home to the UNLV Rebels football team of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
In early 2016, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation was reported to have been considering to develop a stadium together with UNLV and Majestic Realty. The stadium was to be built on a 42-acre area owned by UNVL on Tropicana Avenue. Simultaneously, American businessman and Raiders owner Mark Davis had met with Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson together with other Sands officials and local figures. At this time, the Raiders were looking for a new stadium and saw an opportunity in Vegas. Read more about Downtown Summerlin
Budget and Financing Problems
By April 2016, Davis had officially announced that he wanted the team to move to Las Vegas. He also pledged $500 million of the $2.4-billion budget of the planned stadium. By September 2016, the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted to recommend and approve a $750 million budget for the Las Vegas stadium plan. However, challenges on the budget for the stadium came because of a number of investors, including Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson, backing out on the project. As a result, the team was expected to increase their contribution from $500 million to $1.15 billion, getting a $650 million loan from the Bank of America to help with the budget cuts.
Aside from budget, the location of the stadium was also a big challenge. The area in Tropicana Avenue was questioned in mid-2016 because of how close it was to the north end of one of the airport’s runways and this could affect the capacity, as well as the safety, of the flights coming into the city. By September of the same year, the stadium had two possible sites, an empty lot west of interstate 15 by Russell Road or the Bali Hai Golf Club, south of Mandalay Bay. Ultimately, they decided to build the stadium on the Russell Road site by May of 2017.
Construction and Design
Construction on the site officially started on September 18, 2017 while the ground-breaking ceremony was held on November 13. Mark Davis, together with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a number of Raiders legends, and Nevada politicians and officials were present during the event. The ground-breaking also paid tribute to the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting which happened close to the site. The stadium will be a 10 level domed stadium with a clear ETFE roof, silver and black exterior and large retractable curtain-like side windows facing the Las Vegas Strip. The design includes a large torch in one end that will house a flame in honor of Al Davis, the late long-time owner of the Raiders. By the time the stadium is finished, it can accommodate an estimated 72,000 people.
Events and Tenants
Other than being home to the Raiders and the UNLV Rebels, the stadium will also be hosting a number of events and programs. Plausible possibilities include the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, the NFL Draft, the Monster Jam World Finals, the USA Sevens rugby tournament, Ultimate Fighting Championship events, the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, neutral-site college football games, international soccer matches, boxing matches, concerts, and corporate events and shows. It was even considered for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but was withdrawn from consideration.
Although it’s set to be finished by 2020, everyone is hyped to finally step into the stadium. Not only will Vegas be home to one of the strongest teams in the NFL, the city will also have a new, state of the art stadium for other sporting events and concerts.
They’re currently collecting a PSL deposit for those interested in purchasing the first tickets for the game. Checkout their site to stay updated on the Raiders Stadium.