The budget for Las Vegas Stadium, future home of NFL American football franchise the Oakland Raiders, has been increased to $1.88bn (£1.48bn/€1.68bn), due to the success of commercial sales for the new venue.
The announcement was made by Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Stadium Co., as the Las Vegas Stadium Authority held its monthly board meeting yesterday (Thursday). Webb said the stadium is now around 50% complete with $880m of the previously allocated $1.84bn to build the stadium paid out.
The budget has been increased by $40m, however, with Webb keen to stress this is not due to cost overruns but instead revenue generated by the likes of personal seat licenses, stadium suites, club seats and sponsorships.
This revenue will now be put back into the stadium by providing more suites and exterior restrooms, enhancing security provisions at the plaza level, boosting facilities for the media and upgrading the stadium communications system.
“Normally, a person in my position reporting to a public body such as yours has the unenviable task of telling you why a project’s over budget,” Webb said, according to the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. “That’s not what this is about. This is about good news, as sales have exceeded our budgeted performance.”
He continued: “We now have funding available to do some additional things in the stadium. Undertaking these building enhancements now, rather than at some future time, allows us to take advantage of the economies of scale while we have the contractors mobilised and on-site. They simply must be done now or they become virtually impractical.”
The increased budget will allow for the addition of a 26,000-square-foot south end zone club space that will cater to around 800 fans. “Essentially, this is converting less-easily sold individual seats into a higher revenue-producing suite package,” Webb said. “In addition, one level up, on the lower-suite concourse, we’re adding 14 suites there. A total of 20 suites all together will be added.”
The Raiders are due to relocate from Oakland to their new 65,000-seat home in Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL season. In March, the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority board voted in favour of an extended lease for the team to continue playing at the Coliseum for at least another season.
In March 2018, the Raiders signed a lease deal with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority to build its new venue in Nevada. The deal was signed exactly a year after NFL owners gave the Raiders the green light to move to Las Vegas.