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Raiders keeping low profile on Las Vegas stadium project

The designers and builders of the new stadium for the Raiders are bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “silent partners.”

We’ve known for weeks that Kansas City architect David Manica, the president of Manica Architecture, is the lead designer for the 65,000-seat domed stadium destined for 63 acres at Interstate 15 and Russell Road.

We’ve also known that Minneapolis contractor Mortenson Construction, billed as the No. 1 sports builder, with 170 sports and entertainment projects completed, will partner with McCarthy Building Companies Inc. of Henderson to build it.

Raiders President Marc Badain’s confirmation that the team was close to signing deals with the companies generated a flurry of excitement for the team’s growing Southern Nevada fan base, as well as a long list of questions.

But introducing readers to the three Ms — Manica, Mortenson and McCarthy — and getting their views on the most high-profile tourism project in Las Vegas history has turned into a frustration.

The Raiders want to go low-profile in the project until planning is a little further along. So not only is the team respectfully declining interviews on stadium development, but they’ve told the three Ms to do the same.

So everybody’s questions about how they’ll jam a 32- to 40-month construction job into a 30-month timeline will have to wait. The questions about what cool technology may be incorporated into the project — or used to block in-stadium mobile wagering — are on hold. Even one reader’s question about whether the rigid glass roof would mimic a magnifying glass will remain unanswered for now.

There’s some justification for the Raiders to shy away from publicity at this juncture. After all, the momentous lease agreement signed by them and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority and rubber-stamped by NFL owners last month was conditioned on final approval of a checklist of 14 other approvals that will be sought between now and September.

Once that checklist is completed, the Raiders may be more at ease talking about the project.

It’s also likely that some design and construction details will trickle out during the public vetting of a stadium development agreement by the authority and a Clark County development agreement with the County Commission. The county agreement will include a high-impact project review, an intensive study of how the stadium’s presence would affect traffic, utilities, drainage and emergency services for nearby neighborhoods.

Based on history, the building team seems pretty strong.

Manica, whose renderings usually accompany every news story and television clip about the stadium, is well-respected in the industry and has 22 years of experience designing stadiums, arenas and theaters, including NRG Stadium in Houston and the failed NFL stadium-convention center project in San Diego, according to his website.

Mortenson’s most memorable recent job was the 32-month completion of U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. It also built SunTrust Park for the Atlanta Braves and the Minneapolis Central Library and freshened the Denver Art Museum.

McCarthy, whose projects have included Brooklyn Bowl and Topgolf in Las Vegas, has the advantage of being a local connection to Southern Nevada subcontractors, which will be important as the authority determines participation for small-business and minority interests.

But for now, details are on hold.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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