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Time ticking for Vegas Loop to be ready for Super Bowl LVIII

With Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas just one year away, time is ticking to have The Boring Co.’s Vegas Loop as a transportation option for the Big Game.

The Vegas Loop is planned to be built in phases with each later connected to create a 29-mile underground transportation system stretching from the Strip south to downtown Las Vegas, with offshoots linking Allegiant Stadium, UNLV and eventually Harry Reid International Airport.

For the NFL to approve the use of the system for the Super Bowl, it prefers to have any phase of the Vegas Loop be operable for a full NFL season with the Raiders, according to Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

“They’d have time (to build a portion of the loop this year), but the NFL would like to see them operate through an entire season leading up to the Super Bowl,” Hill said. “They’d have to be up and running in about eight months; that’s starting to get a little tight.”

The phase that makes the most sense to have ready would be the Tropicana phase. This portion includes stops at Allegiant Stadium, UNLV and the Strip properties near the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The cost to construct the tunnel from UNLV to the Tropicana is expected to be $5.2 million, according to Clark County records. The station at UNLV is tentatively slated to be built just northeast of the Thomas &Mack and Cox Pavilion at a pre-existing roundabout, the documents show.

The other phases in the works include the Caesars Loop and one that would connect the north Strip to downtown.

Plans also include offshoots between the Las Vegas Convention Center and Encore and Westgate resorts, similar to the already-existing Resorts World tunnel. Those stations all will be interconnected to the larger Vegas Loop when the project is fully built out.

Although it would be great to have any portion of the Vegas Loop ready for Super Bowl weekend, Hill didn’t make any guarantees.

“We’re just moving forward at the pace that we can move forward,” Hill said. “If something is available during the Super Bowl, then fine, but we’re taking steps forward on all of those legs that are in right now.”

Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events, said he’s not aware of any recent talks regarding the Vegas Loop, but with Super Bowl LVII over and done with Sunday, planning for Las Vegas is now the main focus. O’Reilly expects those conversations to take place in the coming months.

Once the league is up to date on the Boring Co.’s latest plans, they’ll better know if the system will fit into their transportation plans.

“Options are always helpful in terms of fans,” O’Reilly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That type of innovation and that type of option in terms of how to get around the city is always helpful. So that’s what we’ll study in the months ahead.”

One aspect the system must fill if ready in time for the Super Bowl is safety. The Department of Homeland Security classified the Super Bowl as a Level 1 security event. The five-level ranking tier is based on each event’s threat, vulnerability and consequences. Level 1 events are deemed as having the highest risk. Other events labeled Level 1 include the Indianapolis 500 and the Kentucky Derby.

“One of the keys around the Super Bowl is security, it’s a unique Level 1 national security event,” O’Reilly said. “So, we make sure anything we do aligns with our security measures.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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