Raiders planning stadium that could rise 225 feet, FAA docs show

Updated June 26, 2017 - 6:30 pm

The Raiders want to start construction by Nov. 1 on a new NFL stadium that would be 225 feet tall at a vacant 62-acre plot of land on Russell Road, just west of Interstate 15, according to information posted Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The 65,000-seat venue, estimated to cost $1.9 billion, would be completed by June 30, 2020, the Raiders said in its request for a height requirement review of the project.

The filing marked the team’s first public acknowledgment of the venue’s proposed height. A Raiders official declined to comment.

The Raiders submitted 21 different versions of stadium plans at the same site and the FAA notification says public comments are not requested and won’t be considered at this time.

FAA officials will now examine whether the domed stadium might hinder operations at nearby McCarran International Airport. Additional factors might also be considered, including stadium lighting and post-game fireworks that could affect jetliners passing through the nation’s eighth-busiest airport.

The FAA reviews any structure 150 feet or taller, regardless of location, as part of its obstruction evaluation and airport airspace analysis. An FAA spokesman said that the agency does not typically comment on requests for height studies.

A request for the study was formally filed last week by the Raiders, but a copy was not posted on the FAA’s website because the agency had asked a minor question about the team’s wording in the project description.

The FAA does not have authority over local building decisions. However, a Clark County ordinance states that the project cannot be approved if the FAA finds any structure — including a stadium — to be an airspace hazard, county officials have said.

Representatives of Southwest Airlines, the busiest commercial air carrier at McCarran, could not be reached for comment Monday, but company officials said in September that the site identified for the project would be acceptable to them.

Southwest sent a strongly worded letter to Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak in June 2016 objecting to locating a stadium at Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane for safety reasons.

Once that proposed site was eliminated, the Raiders looked to build on the 140-acre Bali Hai Golf Club site or the Russell Road location. Southwest had similar safety concerns with the Bali Hai site, but said the Russell Road location, about a mile north of the extended centerline of McCarran’s primary east-west runways, could work.

The Clark County Department of Aviation is not a party to the FAA study and the department’s director, Rosemary Vassiliadis, has said in the past that the Russell site would not present the airport with concerns, though she said ultimately she’d await the FAA’s findings.

Eight other NFL teams play in domed venues that range in height from the Dallas Cowboys’ 320-foot-tall AT&T Stadium to the 128-foot-tall Ford Field where the Detroit Lions play.

It’s unknown how long the FAA study will take to complete. In comparison, it took more than a year to resolve radar interference issues at Los Angeles International Airport that were caused by the height of the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood. In that case, the Rams agreed to install a secondary aircraft tracking system on the stadium.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter. Review-Journal writer Richard N. Velotta contributed to this report.

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