Raiders ready to break ground for Las Vegas stadium

Oakland Raiders President Marc Badain is protecting what’s going to happen at Monday’s Las Vegas stadium groundbreaking event like it’s the playbook for the team’s game next week against the New England Patriots.

In Thursday’s Las Vegas Stadium Authority board meeting, Badain casually mentioned that there would be “an official groundbreaking” in his 90 seconds of remarks but didn’t mention publicly what time the event would be or who would be there.

It’s an invitation-only event that’s expected to start at 5 p.m.

Authority Chairman Steve Hill said after Thursday’s meeting that even he didn’t know what was planned but that he and Badain would leave afterward to fly to Houston to take part in the second round of qualifying talks Tuesday to bring at least one FIFA World Cup soccer match to the stadium in 2026. There could be more depending on who else is in the bidding.

And, there is the slight detail that North America would have to win the host bid before individual cities could vie for staging a game.

Hill isn’t too worried about Las Vegas’ competition because he knows the city would be highly regarded.

“Having the stadium opens up a new set of opportunities that we had never been able to host,” Hill said after Thursday’s meeting. “Without a stadium coming online, the World Cup would not be something we could even consider.

“Frankly, the presentation is a really easy thing to make,” he said. “We can tell a story everybody already knows. Most everybody involved has already been here and experienced that.”

And the World Cup isn’t the only big potential event on the city’s horizon. Badain said during the meeting that Las Vegas would be in the queue for hosting the NFL Draft as early as 2019 and a Super Bowl by 2025.

As for Monday’s groundbreaking, many have speculated that current Raiders players and possibly some of the team’s historic greats would be present. The team is in its bye week, so there’s a little time for celebration for what will be a historic moment for Southern Nevada.

It wasn’t that long ago — January 2016 — that the idea of bringing an NFL team to Las Vegas was hatched. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, also headed by Hill, was in the midst of meetings to develop plans to expand the Las Vegas Convention Center, concoct new transportation strategies, maybe a light rail, and to possibly build a stadium capable of housing some of the big concert tours Las Vegas was missing out on as well as providing a new home for UNLV’s football team.

The way the NFL viewed Las Vegas’ gambling culture, securing a franchise seemed out of the question.

But Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and Craig Cavileer of Majestic Realty, which has experience building stadiums, brought Raiders owner Mark Davis to the table with the idea of relocating the team to Las Vegas and building a 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion domed venue that would be used by the Raiders and UNLV and to host big events, expanding the city’s special-events calendar.

The proponents brought some star power to one presentation, featuring soccer superstar David Beckham to speak on behalf of the project.

Multiple obstacles

Over the next 22 months, the developers overcame obstacle after obstacle: A special legislative session in which a financing proposal passed by one vote; a vote by NFL owners to allow the relocation of the team; the acquisition of the 62 acres.

When Adelson, who pledged his family’s personal wealth to the project, and Majestic dropped out of the effort in early 2017, the Raiders had to secure financing through a loan with Bank of America.

The Raiders and the Stadium Authority were optimistic they could get every agreement drafted and completed by October, but the complexity of every deal bogged down the process.

The Raiders and their stadium contractor, Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis and McCarthy Builders of Henderson, have known they needed to start work on the site by November to get the stadium completed within 31 months, in time for a July 2020 opening and the kickoff of the 2020 NFL season.

Challenges ahead

Even now, there are big challenges ahead:

—  A final development agreement with a guaranteed maximum price has to be signed and is now on target for February.

—  A joint-use agreement between the Raiders and UNLV must be approved.

—  The long-awaited community benefits plan assuring that 15 percent of labor contracts and supplies go to small businesses got bogged down in details on minority hiring when it was discussed Thursday.

—  Infrastructure on roads and highways leading to the stadium need to be improved.

—  The Raiders still don’t have a plan for where people attending games will park and tailgate.

—  Last week, a new challenge emerged — federal tax-reform legislation that would prevent the use of tax-exempt bonds for construction on stadiums used by professional sports teams.

Detractors abound

All of those challenges are set within an environment in which local critics are seeking ways to torpedo the project and try to divert money to other state needs. That dissension is being cheered on by East Bay residents who want to keep the team in Oakland though every stadium development proposal there has fallen flat.

On Monday, all of those problems and challenges will be set aside for at least an hour as the silver-plated shovels come out with all the enthusiasm that is raised for an effort filled with public pride and civic optimism.

It should be a groundbreaking for the history books.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

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

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
McKenzie shares memory of Gruden coaching in Green Bay
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie shared one of his memories of working alongside head coach Jon Gruden back when they were both in Green Bay.
Vegas Nation: Raiders introduce Jon Gruden as head coach
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss the Raiders introduction of Jon Gruden as their new head coach, including the unique atmosphere and how Gruden will work with Derek Carr.
Former Raiders discuss what the team and fans can expect from Jon Gruden
Following a press conference to announce Jon Gruden as the Oakland Raiders head coach, former players discussed what it is that he'll bring to the team and the fans.
Jon Gruden news conference highlights
The Oakland Raiders announced Jon Gruden as their head coach on Tuesday at the team headquarters in Alameda, Calif. Gruden previously coached the team from 1998-2001. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mark Davis says the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching
Following a news conference announcing Jon Gruden's return as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, team owner Mark Davis said the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Jon Gruden
Michael Gehlken talks about the Raiders decision to hire Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Vegas Nation: Gruden to be named Raiders head coach
Bryan Salmond and Ed Graney discuss the Raiders hiring of Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Votes to occur in coming meetings
Ed Graney and Rick Velotta talk about the latest news about the Las Vegas Stadium.
Vegas Nation: What Does The Raiders Future Look Like?
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the potential hiring of Jon Gruden and the Raiders performance during the 2017 season.
Raiders’ Crabtree frustrated by lack of playing time to end season
Michael Crabtree expressed his frustration Sunday when asked about his future with the Raiders. The Raiders are expected to part ways with the ninth-year veteran wide receiver this offseason. “I’m out here playing ball,” Crabtree said. “Whatever they ask me to do. Like today, if they only want me to play 10 plays, I’ll play 10 plays." Crabtree started the season hot as the team’s top wideout, catching six touchdowns during the first six games. Crabtree received just three targets against the Eagles on Christmas night and two targets versus the Chargers. Crabtree is owed a $7 million salary in 2018, the third season of a four-year, $34 million extension he signed late in 2015. “I did everything they asked of me. These last two games, I’ve probably had three targets, but nobody saying anything about that," Crabtree said.
Raiders might lure Jon Gruden back to coaching
The Raiders are reportedly pursuing ESPN analyst Jon Gruden to fill their vacant head coaching position. Gruden, 54, has not coached since the 2008 NFL season. “I don’t want to sit here and speculate. There is no news to report,” Gruden told ESPN on Saturday. The NFL Network reported that Davis plans to offer Gruden more than $10 million a year to coach the team with an stake in team ownership. Gruden has been connected with openings in recent years, including a lucrative offer from Indianapolis last season. Gruden was the Raiders head coach from 1998-2001, going 38-26 in four seasons. “I know (Gruden),” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I’ve known him for a while. But the (Del Rio firing) is still pretty fresh.”
Raiders fire Jack Del Rio
Following the Raiders loss to the Chargers, head coach Jack Del Rio was fired. Del Rio was hired in January 2015 after spending time as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator. In 2016, Del Rio led the Raiders to a 12-4 record and their first playoff birth since 2002. After the 2016 season, Del Rio signed a 4-year contract extension. In three seasons as the Raiders head coach, Del Rio amassed a 25-23 record. “I’m very grateful," Del Rio said. "My childhood team. But it’s a results business.”
Vegas Nation: Del Rio fired after Raiders drop season finale
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Gilbert Manzano discuss the aftermath of the Raiders loss, including Jack Del Rio getting fired and what might follow.
Raiders' QB Carr reacts to Del Rio firing
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr addressed the media following the team's loss to the Chargers and discussed his thoughts on head coach Jack Del Rio being fired.
Jack Del Rio announces Oakland Raiders fired him following loss to Chargers
After three years of serving as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders, Jack Del Rio announced he was fired by the organization following the team's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Nacion Vegas: Raiders pierden 30-10 contra los Chargers
Nacion Vegas: Los Raiders pierden 30-10 contra los Chargers para finalizar la temporada. Nación Vegas tiene los detalles del juego entre los Raiders y los Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders finish the season with a loss to Chargers
Bryan Salmond recaps the Raiders final game of the season.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Ready For Loud Fans
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over how the Raiders are preparing for the potentially loud crowd for the Chargers game.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Prep For Final Game
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over how the Raiders are preparing for their final game and the future of Todd Downing.
Vegas Nation Red Zone: Raiders face Chargers for final regular-season game
Vegas Nation Red Zone video host Bryan Salmond and NFL writer Gilbert Manzano discuss the Raiders matchup on New Year's Eve against the Los Angeles Chargers.
UNLV can use Las Vegas Raiders stadium parking lots, agreement shows
UNLV will have access to Las Vegas Raiders stadium parking lots, on and offsite, and collect parking fee revenue from them during UNLV events. Now, all that’s needed are the lots themselves. The regents are expected to ask questions about the joint-use agreement on Jan. 4, then consider its approval on Jan. 19. Some of the key elements of the draft agreement: — UNLV will have access to onsite and offsite stadium parking and tailgating lots, which will be administered by the Raiders with net proceeds of parking sales going to UNLV. — The Raiders will control all concessions at the stadium, but net concession revenue from UNLV events will belong to UNLV.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fail to execute, fall to the Eagles
Michael Gehlken talks about the Raiders loss to the Eagles on Christmas Day, including the Raiders' inability to execute and take advantage of a good defensive performance.
Vegas Nation: David Amerson Will Not Play Monday
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders Injury Report and David Amerson being listed as questionable for Monday's game.
Vegas Nation: Penn and Feliciano are done for the season
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken provides an update on several players heading into the Raiders matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vegas Nation: Offensive line depth taking hits
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about Rodney Hudson playing through kidney stones as well as several Raiders struggling with injuries.
Vegas Nation: Raiders taking Wednesday off
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders struggling to digest last week's loss as well as who might replace Donald Penn at left tackle.
Nacion Vegas: Cowboys derrotan Raiders, 20-17
Derek Carr perdió el balón fuera de los límites cerca de la línea de una yarda de los Cowboys con 31 segundos por jugarse. Dallas recuperó la pelota para sellar la victoria.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Cowboys
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal reporters Michael Gehlken, Gilbert Manzano and Ed Graney recap Sunday night's Raiders 20-17 loss against the Cowboys.
How the Raiders plan to balance their fan base in Oakland and Las Vegas
At the Oakland Raiders groundbreaking ceremony in Las Vegas the team president and owner discussed how they will balance their fan base until they move and how they're planning to deal with any issues they could encounter with the stadium construction.
Raiders remember Las Vegas shooting victims at groundbreaking
During the Oakland Raiders groundbreaking ceremony in Las Vegas, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke about how important it was to pay tribute to Las Vegas shooting victims at the event.
Raiders break ground on Las Vegas stadium site
The Raiders hosted a ground breaking ceremony at the Las Vegas stadium site near the Strip. Elaine Wilson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like