Raiders get 30-year lease in Vegas, new stadium construction sets bold time frame

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Oakland Raiders stadium update

One of the last major hurdles to the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas was cleared on May 18 when the nine-member Stadium Authority Board unanimously approved a 30-year lease allowing the team to play in their planned $1.9 billion stadium.

The NFL owners must now vote to ratify the lease at the league meeting next week before construction can begin on the new facility that is expected to be finished in time for the 2020 season.

Earlier this month, the Raiders had finalized their $77.5 million purchase of 62 acres for the stadium near Russell Road and Interstate 15. Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak announced that the NFL and the Raiders closed escrow on the proposed site for the domed stadium that will have a capacity of 65,000 seats.

NFL owners voted in March to approve the relocation sought by Raiders owner Mark Davis. The team will play next season in Oakland with their home venue uncertain for 2018 and 2019.


Construction to be completed in 30 months

The preliminary schedule released by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority (LVSA) on May 9, suggests a timeframe of just 30 months for the completion of the actual construction. The schedule is quoted below below:

  • By August 2017: Clark County High-Impact Process completed, including approval by the seven-member Clark County Commission. Nevada Department of Transportation project review completed. UNLV Board of Regents approval of the joint-use agreement.
  • By September 2017: Stadium Authority certifies that all Senate Bill 1 findings have been met. All project documents are completed and reviewed by the Authority board. Clark County and NDOT development-infrastructure process overview summary with Authority board.
  • By October 2017: Final project documents approved by Stadium Authority board.
  • By November 2017: Stadium land transferred to the Stadium Authority board. Developers funding provided, as required by Senate Bill 1. Raiders responsible for first $100 million in construction costs.
  • By December 2017: Stadium site work begins.
  • By January 2018: Stadium bonds are issued. Stadium construction begins.
  • By June 2020: Stadium construction completed. Raiders begin moving in to facility.
  • By August 2020: NFL opening day for 2020-21 season.

This means just 30 months for actual construction of the stadium. It’s worth mentioning that none of the recently-built domed stadiums of the NFL was delivered in such short time frame. Meanwhile the Las Vegas venue is expected to be among the most technologically and structurally advanced sports arenas across the US. Even adding the 3 months for launching events this schedule seems very optimistic.


Mortenson to be general contractor

Meanwhile, M A Mortenson Co. announced on May 12 that it will be the general contractor for the proposed $1.9 billion football stadium.

Raiders President Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he’s close to finalizing a contract for the Golden Valley-based construction company to become the stadium’s general contractor.

Badain told the newspaper he was impressed by the job Mortenson did in building U.S. Bank Stadium on time. Mortenson, in a span of about 31 months, tore down the Metrodome and replaced it with a $1.1 billion stadium with one of the world’s largest transparent ceilings and an asymmetrical design.

Mortenson will partner with McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. of Henderson, Nev. on the project. Manica Architecture of Kansas City is designing the stadium.

Mortenson has been a major sports builder for years, but had hoped building U.S. Bank Stadium would help it get future NFL stadium deals. This would be the first payoff for that work.

In addition to the Las Vegas stadium, Mortenson is also building new basketball arenas for the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors and a St. Paul soccer stadium for Minnesota United FC.

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