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Raiders stadium roof won’t be done until May; facility’s summer opening on track

Updated January 14, 2020 - 8:55 am

The translucent roof of Allegiant Stadium — a signature feature of the $2 billion, 65,000-seat football stadium — isn’t expected to be installed until mid-May, months later than originally planned.

Representatives of the Raiders say that despite the delay, the stadium is still on track to open July 31 with the first event there on Aug. 16. However, an independent monitor has expressed concern about the stadium being completed by that date.

Team officials are expected to offer details of the installation of the roof, which initially was scheduled for completion by fall, when the Las Vegas Stadium Authority meets Thursday.

The independent monitor working for the authority board raised concerns about the lifting of the cable net system supporting the lightweight EFTE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof in a report completed in early December.

Representatives of Las Vegas-based Grand Canyon Development Partners acknowledged that installation of the roof is not on the critical path to finishing the stadium. But the company’s report expressed concern that, because the venue won’t be completely enclosed, rainy weather could damage some of the finish work that has been completed ahead of schedule.

“Because of the delay in the overall building enclosure, there is the possibility of weather damage as more finish work is put in place,” the report says. “Our assessment is that the TCO (temporary certificate of occupancy) date may be in jeopardy if weather (rain) causes damage to interior finishes. Of the many possible situations and potential delays that a project of this size and complexity can experience, the cable-net delay is one that attracts attention because of its distinctiveness.”

Details coming Thursday

Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ subsidiary building the stadium, declined on Monday to add any details, saying he would discuss them with the authority board Thursday.

“The construction remains on target for substantial completion on July 31, 2020,” Webb’s November project status report, posted online last week, says.

“The project schedule, which tracks more than 41,000 individual tasks, shows some activities to be ahead of schedule and some behind,” his report says. “This condition is completely normal. The completion of the cable net system supporting the ETFE roof is a task which fell behind. Fortunately, even if it were to be further delayed, its completion does not affect the overall project completion since the dependent, successor tasks are not on the critical path.”

Contractors building the stadium prepared last summer to lift the cable net, which is designed to support the translucent roof panels, to the top of the stadium.

Grand Canyon reported work “was suspended pending resolution of challenges created as a result of overstressing the stadium’s structural members.”

Five engineering firms have worked to modify the system to attach the cable net to the compression ring at the top of the stadium.

In its current report, Grand Canyon said the project team has revised its procedures to address those issues and that the changes have caused a delay in excess of 60 days, pushing the roof completion to mid-May.

While delays pushed the cable lift through fall and into winter, Webb maintained that the stadium would be completed on time because other projects that were to be completed later in the schedule were getting finished earlier.

Among the projects ahead of schedule are lower bowl precast installation for seating, the four lanai doors on the north end of the stadium opening toward the Strip, support framing for the torch feature honoring former Raiders owner Al Davis, framing and drywall for suites and secondary steel for scoreboard supports. Workers also have begun building the field tray and grass field that will be moved into the stadium for Raiders games.

Finances on track

Financially, the stadium also is on track.

According to reports that will be reviewed by the authority board, monthly room tax collections for the first five months of the fiscal year are 3.3 percent ahead of collections from the same five months in the 2019 fiscal year. Since room tax collections began in March 2017 through November, the 0.88 percentage-point increase in the tax has collected $136.2 million, 0.1 percent off the projected amount.

Last week, the Review-Journal reported better-than-expected sales of personal seat licenses for Raiders tickets. After forecasting revenue of $250 million in PSL sales earlier, the team raised the budget to $478 million as the completion of sales draws near, all of which is going to additional amenities and features at the stadium.

The Raiders also are expected to provide an update on parking and mobility on Thursday.

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

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