By ALAN SNEL
While the Raiders look for more parking spaces for their $1.9 billion subsidized Las Vegas stadium (they only have 2,400 of the required 16,250 on the 62-acre site) and they wait for FAA approval for the palatial domed venue, LVSportsBiz.com Confidential looks at other stadium issues.
Squirmish Over Community Benefits Plan
Looks like there’s a squabble brewing between Laborers Union 872 and the backers of a stadium community benefits plan.
Local 872 held a stadium rally Sunday with the title, “Just Build It Baby! No Strings Attached.” For the union local, the “string” would be any money requirement of the Raiders to pay into a community benefits plan for the stadium.
Local 872 Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer Tommy White said his union opposes any negotiation or proposal that would lead to the Raiders — or any other company — paying into the community benefits plan.
White charged that state Sen. Aaron Ford is trying to negotiate payments or requirements as part of the community benefits plan, which is part of the stadium legislation. White is also a member of the nine-member Las Vegas Stadium Authority board, which meets Thursday.
White, like President Trump, likes to use Twitter to get his points across. White wrote on the Local 872 Twitter account (with a few grammatical errors, also like Trump): “For the Record @872Laborers supports a community benefit plan with out the Raiders having to put up millions of dollars for nothing.”
White provided a letter of intent signed by Andy Aboud, a Las Vegas Sands Corp. executive who was casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s stadium representative when the state Legislature approved the stadium bill. White said the letter does not show that the Raiders have to pay into a community benefits plan.
The actual state stadium law, SB1, said the community benefits plan would “ensure the greatest possible participation by all segments of the local community in the economic opportunities available” in connection with the stadium construction.
LVSportsBiz.com posted two stories in June on the community benefits plan. One cited Ken Evans, a stadium board member and president of the Urban Chamber of Commerce, saying he wanted to make sure there is diversity and inclusion in the companies that will be awarded contracts by the Raiders and their general contractors. Check that story out here.
LVSportsBiz.com reached out to Ford via a phone call and a Facebook email, but did not hear back Wednesday. People believe Ford will run for attorney general.
LVSportsBiz.com believes there is already a public (not a private) string attached to the Raiders stadium deal — a $750 million subsidy that will be generated by raising $1.2 billion in public dollars through bonds to be issued next year.
No Sam Boyd Stadium For Raiders
LVSportsBiz.com hears from a source that the Raiders want to stay in Oakland for the 2018 and 2019 seasons and make a direct transition to Las Vegas and the new 65,000-seat stadium in 2020.
White agreed, saying he looked at Sam Boyd Stadium as a temporary home for the Raiders and didn’t think the Raiders would want to play there.
White said it would cost $20 million to $30 million to upgrade Sam Boyd to make it worthy of hosting NFL games. White said it wasn’t worth it and he thought the Raiders wanted to make a big splash by coming to Las Vegas when the new stadium was ready at Russell Road and Polaris Avenue.
Outside Traffic Study Shoots Holes In The Raiders Traffic Report
An interesting public submission was given to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority’s board — one that is part of the public record of tomorrow’s stadium board meeting.
Developer Tony Marnell, who wants a high-speed rail project and is proposing an XpressWest high speed train station site at Frank Sinatra and Rio Drive, submitted the July 21 report by traffic consultant Iteris of Santa Ana, California.
LVSportsBiz.com looked at the report and it paints a rather bleak picture of the Raiders traffic study.
In the report’s own words: “In summary, the report does not contain sufficient analysis to adequately identify and assess potential traffic impacts on the surrounding roadway system that would be generated by the proposed stadium on a game day.
“It also lacks supporting analysis to demonstrate the extent to which the recommended improvements would address any impacts associated with stadium‐related traffic,” the report said.
And there’s more. Iteris noted the Raiders report recommends four additional detailed studies which will be necessary for delivering a successful plan
for the stadium, “but fails to identify the following critical inputs that would govern each of these studies:
Location and availability of any off‐site parking areas
The high likelihood of attendees arriving and parking in the industrial areas west of I‐15 surrounding the Russell Road site.”
For the record, Marnell said he’s in favor of the stadium and didn’t have much comment on his report’s conclusions.
LVSportsBiz.com reached out to Raiders President Marc Badain, but did not hear back.
Sisolak Downplays Using UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center For Raiders Stadium Parking
County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a big Raiders and Golden Knights fan, didn’t think the Raiders’ idea of using Thomas & Mack Center’s parking lots was a good idea.
Sisolak, a Democrat running for governor, said moving fans via shuttles from the Thomas & Mack lots along Tropicana Avenue on Sundays for Raiders games would add traffic to an already busy road that is used by thousands of people to reach the airport across from Thomas & Mack.
The Raiders are looking under every stone for land for stadium parking, said Jeremy Aguero, the stadium consultant who is helping the stadium authority board with the stadium construction process.
The Raiders are looking at neighboring land owners, but Sisolak says property owners are hiking (pun intended) their asking prices by five and ten times the going market rate.
LVSportsBiz.com will be attending events at the new stadium. I hope the Raiders stadium has great bike racks like the ones at T-Mobile Arena.
Raiders Fans Are Already Checking Out Stadium Site
Fans are getting around the fencing at the stadium’s 62-acre site on the west side of Interstate 15 and are scooping up dirt and filling plastic bags.
Looks like the dirt is the Las Vegas Raiders’ first souvenirs. I’m sure the Raiders and the NFL will find a way to license that dirt for public sale.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com