By ALAN SNEL
The Raiders want women, minorities, veterans, the LGBTQ community and local small businesses in Nevada involved in building and running the $1.9 billion, domed 65,000-seat stadium the team wants to open in summer 2020 in Las Vegas.
Stadium construction and operations hiring targets for minorities and women in the much-discussed “community benefits plan” are the best in the NFL, Raiders President Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board Thursday afternoon.
But during the process of the Raiders’ creation of the community benefits plan, which is required under state law, various members of the Las Vegas minority community made impassioned pleas for the Raiders to help the city’s low-income residents as part of the stadium construction. The groundbreaking for VIPs is Monday. The Raiders have made no announcements about whether the public and media are invited.
“Developer is committed to ensuring that the community participates in the construction and operation through employment opportunities,” the proposed plan said.
The community benefits plan, which was shaped during the past several months, includes three main hiring target numbers:
— 15 percent of construction work will be done by small local businesses in Nevada. That is required by state law.
— 38 percent of construction work hours will be performed by minority and female workers. Not required, a target number.
— 55 percent of work hours on stadium event days will be performed by minority and female workers. Also not required, it’s a target number.
Raiders Executive Vice President Dan Ventrelle said these numbers are the highest in stadium history in the country.
The stadium board’s consultant, Jeremy Aguero, put it another way about those targeted numbers: “They are aggressive.”
Lynn Littlejohn, director of community affairs for the stadium’s outside general contractor, Minneapolis-based Mortenson, also told stadium board chairman Steve Hill that the hiring levels will be monitored and tracked.
But the targets are exactly that — they are goals and not required by law.
Aguero told LVSportsBiz.com after Thursday’s meeting that it will be up to the stadium manager and the concessionaire to hit those construction and operations hiring goals.
There will be a seven-member oversight committee to monitor the community benefits plan. The committee will have no budget and the committee members will not be compensated. The seven members will have two appointed by the stadium authority, two members appointed by the governor (in consultation with legislative leaders); and three members appointed by the Raiders.
If the Raiders stadium manager and concessionaire fail to hit the women and minorities hiring goals, the oversight committee can ask the stadium authority board panel to take legal action or come up with a remedial plan to make sure those hiring targets are realized, Aguero told LVSportsBiz.com.
The community benefits plan says the Raiders will undertake initiative such as collaborating with local chamber of commerces, implement a community workforce program to hire low-income residents for entry-level construction employment opportunities and promote work opportunities for veterans.
Stadium board member Tommy White, a Laborers 872 union leader, wanted the stadium board to approve the community benefits plan. But panel chairman Hill told White that the plan does not get voted on by the stadium authority board. It’s up to the Raiders to propose and execute it.
White said he likes the Raiders’ high hiring goals, but he’s hungry to start construction and get these people on the stadium construction site.
“If we can’t put these people on the job now, we won’t be able to meet those numbers,” White told LVSportsBiz.com after the three-hour stadium board meeting at the county commission chambers.
Other community benefits plan initiatives include: working closely with building unions to enable women and minorities to get into apprenticeship programs during construction; creating a Local Small Business Enterprise Resource Center as a tool to expand local small, women, and minority owned businesses during construction; creating an internship program to offer high school and college students the chance to participate in paid summer internships to show them facets of the construction industry.
LVSportsBiz.com reported on the community benefits plan proposal in September. And LVSportsBiz,com also first reported on this issue with an interview of stadium board member Ken Evans, president of the Urban Chamber of Commerce.
Senate Bill 1, which created the stadium public funding deal, does not list any hiring target thresholds except for the 15 percent of small businesses being hired for the construction work.
In other Raiders stadium news:
Stadium Board Chairman Hill said there will be enough hotel room tax increase revenues to cover extra repayment bills IF the feds make stadium bonds taxable. Right now, the stadium authority board is looking to finance $750 million for the public’s contribution to the Raiders stadium with tax-exempt bonds. Hill said the stadium board will monitor proposed federal legislation that would remove tax-exempt status from stadium bonds.
Raiders President Badain said the Raiders are asking the NFL for either the 2024 or 2025 Super Bowl be held at the new stadium and he’s also requesting the World Cup be staged there in 2026, too. It’s common that new NFL stadium make bids to host Super Bowls.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com