By ALAN SNEL
Customer Chris Kunkel was at Budget Scooter Parts in an industrial building across the street from the Raiders stadium site mid-day Tuesday and noticed a homeless encampment had sprung up along the perimeter of the vacant Raiders site.
It’s a sprawling 62 acres of dust with a few desert plants — and now a makeshift bed, suitcase and ball hats below a highway billboard advertising a scantily-clad Mariah Carey who is performing at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Tuesday.
Kunkel said the empty Raiders stadium property is like any other vacant parcel in the metro Vegas area. That is, it will be a magnet for people who don’t have homes.
“Any vacant lot in Las Vegas will have a homeless camp,” observed Kunkel as he talked with shop owner Shane Molthop of the retail scooter parts store.
The homeless encampment was along the east side of the Raiders stadium site along Dean Martin Drive, not too far from the Hacienda Avenue corner. The entire site, bought by the Raiders for $77.5 million, is across from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the west side of I-15 and is bounded by Russell Road, Polaris Avenue, Hacienda and Dean Martin.
The Raiders want to build a $1.9 billion domed, 65,000-seat stadium at the site and is receiving $750 million from the public. (It should be noted the public will have to raise $1.2 billion over 30 years to pay back the $750 million.)
The Nevada Homeless Alliance says there are 6,208 homeless individuals in southern Nevada.
LVSportsBiz.com left phone messages for Will Kiss and Erin Exum in the Raiders media relations office to comment on the homeless at the stadium site. But the calls were not returned as of Tuesday afternoon.
Molthop of Budget Scooter Parts said there are homeless in the immediate area, including a homeless camp behind a parking lot fence near his rented space in the industrial building off Hacienda Avenue.
Molthop said homeless people have posted signs saying, “The Raiders are coming, we need free water.”
The industrial building site, where commercial tenants include flooring, air conditioning, security and lighting tenants, sits across Hacienda Avenue from the Raiders stadium property.
Molthop predicted the industrial site’s owner of the OD Hacienda Polaris LLC business park will eventually sell its estimated 25 acres to the Raiders, and he plans to move in November or December.