By ALAN SNEL
The Steve Sisolak Stadium News Service delivered another Raiders stadium blockbuster today when the county commission chairman tweeted out — surprise, surprise — “The @RAIDERS stadium has been unanimously approved!”
Well, technically, the Clark County commissioners approved a land use permit and waivers for the Raiders to build their $1.8 billion domed stadium even though the 65,00-seat palatial venue project lacks only 13,000 parking spaces as required by county code.
Did you expect anything else when southern Nevada is dealing with the Raiders?
“Vote keeps project on track for groundbreaking in late 2017,” the Clark County Twitter account informed the masses.
Parking, shparking, who needs parking when the public is contributing $750 million for a football stadium that will be used for eight regular-season games by the Raiders starting in 2020. Plus, there will two pre-season Raiders games, a half-dozen UNLV football games, a college bowl game and other sports events such as rugby and motocross.
The Raiders promised to look high and low for available parking during the next year as they contemplate shuttling the silver-and-black fans over from sites around the valley to the stadium off Russell Road and Polaris Avenue, on the west side of I-15.
There will be Uber and Lyft car rides and lots of available paid parking at the MGM Resorts International garages at MGM Resorts properties such as Mandalay Bay, New York-New York and Monte Carlo to help out, too. And even a few bicyclists might pedal to the games.
Las Vegas has entered a new era — the Non-Parking at Sports Events Era when locals have to break old habits of driving to seas of asphalt outside venues such as Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium and seek alternative ways of reaching sports venues.
Insiders tell LVSportsBiz.com that the cost to the Raiders of buying the Billy Walters Bali Hai golf course off Las Vegas Boulevard for parking is too expensive for the NFL team and the Raiders’ idea of using the UNLV parking lot at Thomas & Mack Center on Raiders game days did not fly with Sisolak, who said Tropicana Avenue is already too congested with traffic on Sundays because of the neighboring McCarran International Airport.
Stadium Authority board member Tommy White, leader of the Local Laborers 872 union, talked about the lack of importance for parking at the Raiders stadium.
“The Raiders knew they were not going to have enough parking in that area,” White said after the county commissioners approved the stadium land use permit. “The last thing people want is 16,000 cars at a stadium.”
White might be on to something — the birth of public transportation to connect fans to stadiums.
If only southern Nevada had a comprehensive public transportation system.
In other stadium news, the public may finally get some clarity on how much the stadium project will cost. The Raiders have said the stadium will be $1.8 billion with another $100 million for a training facility (LVSportsBiz is hearing maybe Henderson area for that).
Stadium board consultant Jeremy Aguero told the nine board members that the Raiders’ stadium design process won’t be done until February 2018. The design process will give the Raiders a handle on the “guaranteed maximum price” — or GMP. That will also give the stadium board some numbers on the construction budget.
There’s no way the stadium board can authorize Clark County to issue bonds for the project until the final project budget is in place.
If you want to read more, just click here and you can read all about it.
White said locals aren’t interested in the meetings and agreements. They want to see shovels in the ground and people going to work there.
“You have residents who are asking when will it be built?”
Shovels in the ground off Russell and Polaris could come in December.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com.