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Bird’s eye view: Raiders’ facilities, draft site take shape

The Raiders footprint on the Las Vegas Valley continues to progress as the first NFL season in the team’s new era in Southern Nevada is set to kick off in seven months.

The $2 billion, 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium is moving along, now nearly fully enclosed in the dark tinted glass. Just a small portion on the stadium’s south end and portions of the lanai doors on the north end are yet to be covered, but the process is moving along at a rapid pace.

“It will be fully enclosed by glass sometime by March,” said Don Webb, Las Vegas Stadium Co. chief operating officer following last week’s Las Vegas Stadium Authority meeting.

Work on the system that will roll in the four-foot-tall, 9,500-ton tray holding the natural grass turf the Raiders will play on has also visibly progressed. The massive tray on the outside of the stadium is nearly fully covered in steel, with the 13 steel tracks laid inside and concrete pouring slated to occur as early as next week.

The tray will be moved in and out of the stadium through a 14-by-240 foot opening in the south end of the stadium.

Some of the nearly 2,000 craftsmen on the site could be seen Thursday afternoon dangling over the stadium on some of the cable net that will support the ETFE roof panels. After a delay due to over-stressed bolts, plans are to have the stadium fully enclosed by mid-May.

Despite the multi-month delay regarding the roof, the design-build aspect of the project allowed for other tasks to be completed ahead of time to keep the substantial completion date at July 31, Webb said.

Flying over the 65-acre site gives a better perspective, providing a look at how large the field tray area is and some of the paving and sidewalk work that is taking place on the southwest and northeast corners.

Las Vegas visitors and residents alike are beginning to get their own bird’s eye view of the stadium of late, as Maverick Aviation Group added the stadium as a stop on its popular Las Vegas Strip area helicopter tour, according to Bryan Kroten, vice president of marketing for Maverick.

“We added it to all of our flight recordings,” Kroten said. “We also added it to all of our pilots’ itineraries, working in T-Mobile Arena, Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders is definitely top of mind.”

Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center

Work also continues about 13 miles away on the Raiders headquarters and Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson.

The 335,000-square-foot facility will feature one-and-a-half NFL regulation football fields, weight room and recovery area, the team’s office, a Raider Image retail store, three outdoor fields and other amenities.

A flyover of the site revealed the structure of the facility is now over 75 percent enclosed, with a portion of the outdoor fieldhouse yet to be covered by panels.

An outdoor pool is being dug and the area where the three outdoor fields will be is ready to go. The grass for those fields is already owned by the Raiders and is being cared for in California ahead of laying it sometime in the spring.

The team is scheduled to move into their new digs sometime in June, according to Webb.

NFL Draft sites

After grand plans were revealed on Tuesday, crews wasted no time getting to work on prep duties for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Work on the area sitting to the south of the soon-to-open Caesars Forum convention space could be seen occurring from high above. The draft’s main stage will go in a rectangular portion of land being prepped in the footprint of one of the columns supporting the High Roller attraction at the Linq.

Paved parking lots next to that will be home to the Draft Experience where various activities and attractions will be hosted during the three-day event occurring April 23-25.

Work on the red carpet stage, which will be constructed over the Fountains of Bellagio, will begin on April 8.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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