The Raiders won’t be competing in Las Vegas until 2020, but the excitement is already in the Sin City air. On Wednesday, the Clark County Commission gave the go-ahead to the NFL franchise to begin building what will be a $1.9 billion state-of-the-art facility.
County approval came a day after the FAA cleared the way by declaring that stadium construction plans did not cause any safety concerns related to flight patterns at nearby McCarran International Airport.
The Raiders currently play in Oakland. Due to a stadium contract dispute with the city, owner Mark Davis claims he was forced to move the team elsewhere. That destination, after lengthy negotiations with Clark County, ended up being Las Vegas.
Fresh off a 12-4 season and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2002, the Raiders will continue playing in Oakland through the 2018 season. No decision has been made on where the team will play in 2019.
Stadium Construction Approved
Once the 2020 season kicks off, the Raiders will move into a new stadium in Las Vegas, and will play its home games outside the state of California for the first time in franchise history.
The planned 65,000-seat stadium will be located just blocks from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Many new restaurants, bars, and shops are expected to open in the area by 2020.
On Wednesday, the Clark County Commission took a vote to approve the project moving forward. All seven committee members voted in favor of the funding and to begin construction of what will be the new home of the Raiders.
One issue to be settled in coming months: parking. The 62 acres obtained by the Raiders may not be enough room for the massive stadium and enough parking space for an enjoyable tailgating atmosphere.
During a presentation before the Clark County Commission, Don Webb, co-founder of Cordell Corporation, a high-profile facility development management company, reassured officials that the builders will solve the parking problem in due time.
Parking matters are a significant concern to the county, as they will impact traffic, safety, and other planning factors. If there’s not enough space to park on game days, it could require special relationships to be set up with casinos to accommodate the overflow, which could impact public transportation needs.
Clark County also approved 20 different uses for the future stadium site beyond football. These include granting business permits to retail shops, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment, such as a possible future Las Vegas Raiders Hall of Fame museum.