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Safety agreement OK’d for Las Vegas Raiders stadium field tray

Safety measures involving one of the two large openings within the $1.8 billion Las Vegas stadium project were unanimously approved Thursday by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority.

An agreement for door and columns operations for a 9,500-ton field tray containing a natural grass field to be grown outdoors and wheeled on rails inside the stadium for Raiders games was one of the few action items in the authority’s one-hour meeting.

The 240-foot-wide field containing nearly an acre of grass on a tray powered by 76 motors will pass beneath a section of seats on the south end of the 65,000-seat stadium being built at Interstate 15 and Russell Road.

Because the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention issues building permits for the stadium and there aren’t any safety protocols in place for anything like the field tray, the authority drafted the doors and columns operation agreement for review.

The section of seats above the opening will be supported by 22 columns that can be retracted to provide clearance for the field tray. When the field is outside the building or in place for a game, the columns will be extended and locked, and sensors will indicate they’re in place.

When the tray is moving in or out, the columns will be retracted, and the county is requiring that the section of seats not be occupied when that happens.

A similar safety agreement for the 80-by-215-foot opening on the north end of the stadium and its lanai doors is expected to be brought to a future meeting.

Most of Thursday’s authority meeting involved reports on the construction of the stadium that will be home to the Raiders and the UNLV football team for the 2020 season.

Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ stadium construction company subsidiary, told the board the project is on schedule and on budget and about one-third completed.

As of Dec. 31, the team has spent $564.5 million on construction, including $171.5 million of public money authorized by the Nevada Legislature.

Independent auditors reported to the board that stadium spending is in compliance with agreements with the state and county.

Jeremy Aguero, a principal for Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, which serves as the Stadium Authority’s staff, told board members room-tax collections have reached $86 million — 0.6 percent more than the amount initially projected for that time.

Collections reversed a declining year-over-year trend in October and November, one year after the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting resulted in a decrease in visitation.

A 0.88 percentage-point increase in the hotel room tax rate supports $750 million in bonds supporting stadium construction.

Webb said there are about 850 laborers on the construction site daily. Workers recently completed a phase of work that required 1,000 workers on the site. Webb said the onsite workforce will rise this year to 1,200, plus between 120 and 150 inspectors and specialty personnel in temporary offices.

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

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