The National Football League on March 27 officially approved the Raiders franchise to move to Las Vegas, but the location of the team’s $1.9 billion stadium is yet to be decided.
The two competing sites are a primarily vacant, 63-acre property at Russell Road and Dean Martin Drive, and Cashman Center near the city’s revamped downtown area.
Jace Radke, senior public information officer for the city of Las Vegas, says the the city and Mayor Carolyn Goodman support the estimates that show building at Cashman could save at least $200 million in costs, because roadway improvements and parking are already in place or fully funded.
“Also, Cashman is in a redevelopment area so there are additional incentives to build there,” Radke added.
However, Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission chairman, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week that the Raiders management team is seriously considering the Russell Road location.
Sisolak also told the Review-Journal he spoke with Raiders owner Mark Davis and team president Marc Badain, and believes they are “committed to doing what’s necessary to make the location work.”
Neither Sisolak nor a representative for the Raiders returned ENR’s request for comment.
According to a statement from Nevada Dept. of Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon, the agency is preparing for Interstate 15 improvements for the site on Russell Road.
“NDOT is drafting the scope of work for environmental clearance and preliminary engineering for the I-15 Tropicana Interchange reconstruction and the direct connect HOV ramps proposed at Hacienda and Harmon,” he says. “An RFP will be issued in a few months for that scope of work. NDOT hopes to advance these projects which were planned to address traffic growth on the I-15 corridor anticipated to occur in the next 20 years.”
He says costs of the proposed improvements to I-15 will be available after planning and engineering feasibility studies are complete. That work is expected to take three to six months, he says, and the improvements will take about two years.
Goodman has been in contact with Raiders management and “is hoping that the team with take another look at the advantages that the Cashman site offers,” Radke said.
Bob Coffin, Las Vegas city councilman representing Ward 3, says he also supports Cashman Center as the Raiders’ future home.
Coffin said that while the city has held out reasonable hopes the Raiders organization would go with Cashman Center, it does seem “like the die is cast” for the Russell Road location.
Designed by Manica Architecture, the domed and air-conditioned structure will hold 65,000 spectators and is expandable to 72,000 for Super Bowl events, Manica officials say.
Manica describes the stadium as “sleek and modern,” featuring a horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement that will offer views of a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip. A 120-foot-tall tower will house a “flaming cauldron” in honor of Al Davis, the colorful Raiders owner who died in 2011.
Stadium grounds are being planned to accommodate up to 8,000 cars, tailgating amenities and a mixed-use commercial development. The design calls for a retractable natural turf field, numerous open clubs, lounges and private suites. Completion is anticipated in time for the 2020 season.