The first roof panels were installed at Allegiant Stadium this week, marking the start of the final process of fully enclosing the structure.
The ETFE panels — ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a fluorine-based plastic — were affixed Monday to the roof near the northeast portion of the $2 billion stadium, just above the portion of the stadium where the first Allegiant signage was being installed.
Raiders President Marc Badain confirmed the translucent roof panel installation to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The panels are designed to give the stadium an outdoor feel during day games, as the games will be naturally lighted, in the comfort of a temperature-controlled facility.
The triangular-shaped portions of the first ETFE panels installed Monday mark the beginning of a process expected to last through May.
The panels are being laid on framing installed above a cable net consisting of 100 stainless steel cables that make up the roofing system. The stadium is almost fully fitted with the roof framing.
Panels are being placed like puzzle pieces, leaving some of the roof open so that some of the equipment within the stadium bowl can be lifted out by crane once the equipment is no longer needed.
Installing the first panels on the roof — the Allegiant Stadium feature that has received the most attention over the past eight months — allows the Raiders and the joint venture crew of Mortenson-McCarthy to breathe a sigh of relief. As the work crew was preparing to lift the cable-net system off the stadium floor in August, the stress of pulling the cables taut from several nodes lining the roof caused some bolts to break. Several teams of engineers worked to solve the problem.
Having the stadium fully enclosed will leave one less issue to deal with — the weather. A half-inch of rain fell in the Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday, but a webcam mounted inside the stadium showed crews readying the interior by tarping off places where rain damage could occur, such as suite areas.