Las Vegas Stadium Authority looks to Minnesota for guidance

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series on how Minneapolis’ hosting of the Feb. 4 Super Bowl offers a guide for Las Vegas.

MINNEAPOLIS — The heart of Minnesota isn’t exactly the Entertainment Capital of the World, but that hasn’t stopped U.S. Bank Stadium — designed, built and operated under the guidance of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority — from attracting 1.6 million visitors to 600 public and private events in its first year.

Established in 2012 by the Minnesota Legislature, the authority has been the connecting point between the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, M.A. Mortenson Construction Co. — the general contractor that built the 66,200-seat stadium — and the public.

It’s also a guidepost for what the Las Vegas Stadium Authority could look like in four years once the stadium that will house the Oakland Raiders is completed.

U.S. Bank Stadium opened on July 22, 2016. If the Raiders and Mortenson successfully follow in Minnesota’s footsteps, the Las Vegas Raiders’ stadium will open around four years after that milestone date.

When U.S. Bank opened, the Vikings beat the San Diego Chargers in the first preseason game at the stadium on Aug. 28, 2016, and in the team’s regular-season home-opener, the Vikings defeated their biggest rival, the Green Bay Packers, on Sept. 18 of that year.

The stadium was the scene for seven more home games, with the Vikings missing the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

But the very first sports event at the stadium was an International Champions Cup soccer match between A.C. Milan and Chelsea F.C.

Big concerts

The stadium has hosted concerts by Luke Bryan, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and U2, and the 2017 Summer X Games.

Super Bowl LII is the next big event in February, followed by the 2018 Summer X Games in July, the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four and the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Consumer shows spotlighting home improvements and recreational vehicles and the Monster Energy American Motorcyclist Association Supercross made stops at U.S. Bank.

Minnesota’s state high school soccer and football games were played at the stadium, and 13 youth football events were played from August through December.

One bank of stadium seats retracts, providing enough room for baseball, and the venue hosted more than 140 college and high school baseball games, drawing nearly 30,000 people total.

“As in any business relationship, there are strains, but overall, I think we have had a pretty good relationship (with the Minnesota Vikings),” said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chairman Michael Vekich.

Quality work

“You can see by the facility, you can see by the quality that’s here, you can see by the (project being completed) six weeks early. I think that proves out a very good working relationship,” said Vekich, who was appointed chairman by Gov. Mark Dayton last summer after the position was held in its early years by Laura Bishop, who has stayed on as a member of the five-person board.

The Minnesota authority has hit a pinnacle by successfully maneuvering for bids for the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four. For Vekich, the role of the authority is more mundane today than it was in the construction phase with its monthly meetings addressing capital expense budgets and maintenance programs.

“Our role is oversight and accountability and also includes decision-making on capital improvements and any other major policy decisions,” Vekich said.

That’s similar to how things should look in Las Vegas after construction work is underway. Once a Raiders’ stadium company subsidiary completes construction, the stadium and the land would be turned over to the authority.

Another Raiders subsidiary will manage events at the facility, an opportunity for the team to generate revenue. It’s unclear whether the Raiders would allow companies and organizations to stage dinners and other events in some of the stadium club spaces as that generally is in the wheelhouse of Southern Nevada’s resort community.

The Las Vegas stadium is envisioned to stage more than 40 events annually, but drawing more than 600 as U.S. Bank Stadium did its first year seems improbable.

Sharing with UNLV

Another difference in Las Vegas that could become a part of the Las Vegas authority’s role is the sharing of the stadium with UNLV. In any scheduling dispute between the Raiders and UNLV, the authority would be called upon to mediate. But the ground rules are pretty clear: The Raiders and the NFL get first dibs on stadium use.

The biggest contracts the Minnesota authority deals with are with SMG, an internationally known facilities operator overseeing more than 230 public facilities, including Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, and Aramark, a food-service provider that has worked with UNLV, the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center.

Vekich said that while most things went well in Minnesota’s quest to build U.S. Bank Stadium, a few things could have gone better.

Vekich credited the Vikings’ investment of $600 million for the $1.1 billion project for winning over public sentiment, and he praised Mortenson Construction’s community benefits plan to promote inclusion of women and minorities in construction work. He added that developers are proud that the stadium is one of nation’s most environmentally friendly in the country.

In Las Vegas, the public commitment is $750 million, leaving an estimated $1.15 billion the responsibility of the Raiders. The team has acknowledged a loan from Bank of America and from the NFL and will generate revenue through personal seat licenses, stadium naming rights, advertising and other sponsorships.

New kitchen

Vekich said “value engineering” provided elevators and escalators that might need to be replaced sooner than expected, and designers might have fallen short on providing storage space within the stadium. Also, one of the first capital projects the authority had to tackle was spending $500,000 for a new kitchen area to deliver food quicker to concessionaires.

“We haven’t had to spend a lot on the general structure, but in five to 10 years, I’m sure we’ll see some things we’ll need to address,” Vekich said. “The field may need to be replaced in a few seasons.”

That shouldn’t be an issue in Las Vegas, where the Raiders will be playing on a grass field that will be tended outdoors throughout the season, then wheeled indoors for games.

The Raiders also will be responsible for replacing the artificial turf surface UNLV anticipates playing on, but the university will have to provide end zone panels and UNLV logos on the field on the floor surface.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Retractable Field Update - VIDEO
Much like the Arizona Cardinals field, the Raiders will also be playing on a field tray that can be retracted in order to maintain real grass. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Las Vegas Review- Journal reporter Rick Velotta discuss the latest updates regrading the Las Vegas Stadium as well as the groundbreaking of the Raiders headquarters in Henderson.
Raiders Henderson Practice Facility Render - VIDEO
Video of the Raiders practice facility that will be built in Henderson Nevada.
Raiders Headquarters Groundbreaking Ceremony - VIDEO
The Raiders make Henderson their new home with a groundbreaking ceremony. Derek Carr and many other players past a present came together to celebrate the new location. Cassie Soto and Ed Graney report from Henderson, Nevada.
Former Raider James Harris says fans will follow the team "to the moon" - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders will play in Las Vegas when their team's move is completed in 2020. Former Raiders' defensive end and Las Vegan, James Harris, says fans will follow and support the team "to the moon".
Jim Plunkett on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, changes under Gruden
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiders new headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, former quarterback Jim Plunkett gave his thoughts on the new facility, the team's move to Las Vegas and what the future holds for the team with head coach Jon Gruden.
JT The Brick says where he thinks the Raiders should play in 2019
At the Raiders headquarters groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson, Nevada, radio host J.T. The Brick gave his take on where he thinks the team should play in 2019 and provided his thoughts on their three, first-round draft picks and more.
Raiders Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For Henderson Practice Facility
The Raiders hold a groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson for the new practice facility for the teams move to Las Vegas.
A quick look at the Raiders HQ in Henderson
The Raiders held a groundbreaking ceremony for their Las Vegas headquarters, which is based in Henderson, on Monday, Jan. 14th.
Designers of Raiders Field Learn Lessons from Cardinals
The retractable grass in the future home of the Raiders will look largely like an updated and improved version of the field tray system used at State Farm Stadium, home of the Phoenix Cardinals. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Mahomes Throws his 50th TD in Victory over the Raiders
The Oakland Raiders lose the last game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs 35-3. Pat Mahomes throws his 50th touchdown and the Chiefs take first place in the division. Cassie Soto is in studio and Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Kansas City.
Raiders look ahead to next season after loss to Chiefs
After the Oakland Raiders' 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, players analyze their play and look ahead to what they can do better in the next season.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Mike Mayock as new GM
Raiders beat reporter describes newly-hired general manager's opening press conference.
Vegas Nation: Players receive signing bonuses
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains why four players received roster bonuses and what that means for their respective futures on the roster.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Will the Raiders play in Oakland next season?
The Raiders get an emotional win against the Denver Broncos. The game was potentially the Raiders last time playing in the colosseum due to a lawsuit from the city of Oakland. Elaine Wilson and Ed Graney go over the Raider Nation reaction to the game an news.
Vegas Nation: Miller and Parker draw praise
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken takes a look at Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker's Monday Night Football performance against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders to face Chiefs in season finale
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes how the team is doing after their emotional win over the Denver Broncos, and how they're preparing for the last game of the year in Kansas City.
Raiders Win Emotional Game Against Broncos - Vegas Nation
The Oakland Raiders win their Monday Night football game against the Denver Broncos. This game is potentially the last time the Raiders will play in Oakland before coming to Las Vegas. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney go over the emotional win.
Carr, Gruden reflect on what could be the last game played in Oakland
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr comment on what could be the the last home game the team played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Raiders locker room after victory over Broncos
Raiders players Jalen Richard, Lee Smith, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris react to defeating the Denver Broncos in what could be the final game at the Oakland Coliseum.
Raiders fans react to possible final game in Oakland
Raiders fans from around the country respond to the team potentially playing their final game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum prior to Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold final practice before MNF
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the trouble Von Miller and Bradley Chubb bring to the Raiders offensive line, as well as who's questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: McCarron returns to practice
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that back up quarterback AJ McCarron returned to practice on Friday following the birth of his son.
Vegas Nation: Nathan Peterman practices with Raiders
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken unveils the reaction Jon Gruden received after signing quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad.
Vegas Nation Mailbag - December 19, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Ed Graney go over all burning Vegas Nation Raiders questions
Vegas Nation: Raiders prepare for potential final game in Oakland
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports on how Christmas Eve could be the final game in Oakland for the Raiders, and how Jon Gruden will handle it with himself and the players.
RJ columnist Ed Graney goes in-depth to find out if an NFL team would have success in London
While London's Cray Wanderers may be the one of the oldest football clubs in the world, could an NFL team have the same success overseas? (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal @HeidiFang)
Raiders Fall To Bengals 30-16 - Vegas Nation
Raiders fall to the Cincinnati Bengals 30-16. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken recap the loss.
Raiders players on the team's loss to the Bengals
Raiders running back Doug Martin and tight end Darren Waller discuss their performances against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gruden and Carr share positive outlook on remaining games
After suffering a 30-16 loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr think the team can still finish the season strong.
NFL Draft Coming to Las Vegas in 2020 - Vegas Nation
The NFL Draft has been awarded to Las Vegas in 2020 as the Raiders move in. Michael Gehlken discusses what this means for the the city and the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Osemele, Jackson miss practice on Thursday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains the injuries to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson, and who the Raiders have signed to the offensive line in response to those injuries.
Raiders vs Bengals Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like