NFL’s Raiders win county approval for Las Vegas stadium project

NFL American football team the Oakland Raiders has been granted approval by Nevada’s Clark County Commission to progress with plans to construct a new stadium in Las Vegas.

The franchise is currently based in California, but will relocate to the gambling haven, with initial, and ambitious, plans to begin playing in Vegas by 2020.

Having already purchased land in the city for the purpose of building its new home, the team was also required to gain permission from Clark County to use this land for a 65,000-capacity stadium.

Yesterday (Wednesday), the Clark County Commission voted 7-0 in favour of the project, which will allow the team to begin grading and site-preparation work at the site. However, the Raiders will still need further approval to begin any major work on the site.

The entire project is expected to cost around $1.9bn (€1.6bn/£1.5bn) and the franchise will work with Mortenson Construction, the company that also built the U.S. Bank NFL stadium in Minnesota, on the new development.

Speaking on behalf of Mortenson Construction, John Wood, senior vice-president, said that there are no real concerns over time constraints on the project, adding that he is confident the venue will be ready in time for the 2020 mooted launch date.

“Thirty-one months is what we have available,” Wood said, according to The Daily Journal. “That is exactly the schedule that we had in Minnesota to build U.S. Bank Stadium, and there we went through three harsh Minnesota weekends.

“So, we’ll have two-and-a-half Nevada summers to go through. But we still have great confidence in our ability to complete on time.”

The team also has one year to develop a parking strategy that will need approval from the County. Concerns have been raised over the impact the stadium will have on traffic in the local area, but Raiders adviser Don Webb told the Clark County Commission this week that the team has a number of options to solve the “very obvious parking challenge”.

Speaking after the meeting, Commission chairman Steve Sisolak said: “They’re (the Raiders) looking at the recipe, the mix, between what’s going to come through the monorail, what’s going to come through rideshare, what’s going to come through walkers coming from the various casino properties.

“They are going to have to figure out a way to make this work for everybody (and) at the same time maintain the tailgating experience.”

Representatives from the project are due attend the annual TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit taking place in Barcelona on 28-29 November, to represent the project.