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Documents OK’d for financing Raiders Stadium in Las Vegas

Updated March 1, 2018 - 8:24 pm

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority has done just about everything it can to get a a 65,000-seat indoor football stadium built for the Raiders.

Now it’s a matter of waiting for the National Football League and the Clark County Commission to complete the effort that has been in play since December 2016.

The nine-member authority board unanimously approved a series of documents Thursday to put the financing and procedures in place to build the stadium at Interstate 15 and Russell Road.

It took less than two hours for attorneys to review and explain and for board members to vote on nearly 57 documents necessary to see that the Raiders relocate to Southern Nevada, prove they’re financially capable of building the stadium, make it available to the UNLV football team and ensure the team won’t leave for at least 30 years.

Parking and guaranteed price

Embedded in the discussion was another assurance that the Raiders are on top of plans to provide at least 16,250 parking spaces for fans attending games or other events at the stadium.

There also were references to the stadium’s guaranteed maximum price — critical to the discussion because without that, the authority can’t calculate how much Clark County must bond for.

Raiders President Marc Badain told board members the team has identified land and property owners that could forge deals to accommodate up to 27,000 parking spaces.

Badain said because those agreements are still in the negotiating stage, he couldn’t disclose specifically where the lots are. He indicated that some deals may be land purchases and others could be leases, but the properties all within 1½ miles of the stadium site.

Badain also said he has been in contact with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and its general manager, Tina Quigley, to discuss transportation options for fans.

The Raiders don’t have to deliver a plan to Clark County on parking and transportation until September. But on Thursday the authority board approved a lease agreement document that enables it to take over parking matters should the Raiders fail.

A new section of the lease agreement gives the authority four options to address parking shortcomings, including taking the Raiders’ place on any parking contracts they negotiate or using money placed in a capital improvements account accumulated from hotel room-tax revenue.

Authority Chairman Steve Hill said the Raiders would be motivated to make parking plans work because the team would have less money available for future capital improvements at the stadium if their parking strategy fails.

On the effort to determine a guaranteed maximum price, Raiders chief operating officer Don Webb worked all last week reviewing a construction contract with general contractor Mortenson Construction Co.

Mark Arnold, one of the authority attorneys who worked with the Raiders’ legal team to draft the numerous documents, said it’s likely the Raiders would be able to calculate the final price within 10 days.

That should work for the authority as representatives from the team, the NFL, Clark County and the authority march toward final approvals.

Agreement tweaks possible

The 17 items reviewed by the authority board were approved by form, meaning there still could be tweaks in the final language from the NFL or the county. Hill said he’s not anticipating any major changes.

Under a revised timeline Hill described Thursday, the authority could meet March 15 or 22 if an NFL stadium committee wants any changes.

The package will go to NFL owners when they meet in Orlando March 25-28. A special meeting of the authority to add any new NFL language is expected between March 25 and April 3, the date when Clark County commissioners will consider the bond issue ordinance.

Bali Hai lawsuit

Prior to Thursday’s authority meeting, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, through an aide, delivered a letter to the authority raising questions about the final approval of the stadium documents.

Among Giunchigliani’s concerns are whether the Raiders plan to use Bali Hai Golf Club land for parking. Bali Hai, located about a half-mile southeast of the stadium site, is the subject of a federal lawsuit against the county.

“We are being sued by the federal government for the lease, especially since fair market value was ignored and the Bureau of Land Management, (McCarran International) Airport, Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act nor the county have benefitted from this property,” her letter said. “If any lease or purchase were entered into, none of those benefitted, but the windfall would go to the leasee (Billy Walters) who has been sentenced to prison. I urge you to not enter into an agreement, especially since we are involved in a lawsuit.”

Badain has not indicated whether Bali Hai is among the sites under consideration for parking.

After the meeting, Hill said he was satisfied with how the authority board handled business, noting that things are now in the hands of entities over which they have no control.

“We’re pretty darn good at hitting deadlines when we know we have a deadline,” Hill said during the meeting.

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

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