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A new look inside our new Raiders stadium

Stadium authority unanimously approves stadium development agreement. (Jeff Gillan | KSNV)

If you go to the 63 acres bordered by Interstate 15, Russell and Polaris, what you see now are cranes, trucks, workers, and activity.

What’s you’ll see in two years, if all goes according to schedule, is Las Vegas’ entry into the NFL: a 65,000-seat stadium which will be home to the Raiders and UNLV’s football Rebels.

At today's stadium authority board meeting, the Raiders rolled out more views of the place they want to call home.

“Marc Davis always said he wanted a very iconic building. He wanted something the community would be proud of,” says Raiders President Marc Badain.

Davis is the Raiders' owner. His silver-and-black team is getting a silver-and-black stadium, with a price tag now firmly set at $1.8 billion.

RELATED | What will it cost? Crunching the numbers on the Raiders' new stadium

At today’s meeting, the board – the public body that will oversee the facility on your behalf – saw new drawings of what that construction project will become. The price – now firmly set – is required by the legislation that allowed the public contribution for the stadium, which is $750 million in higher room taxes, collected at hotels within a 25-mile-radius of the Clark County Government Center.

Part of today’s work was approving dozens of items that will get the final approval next week. One of the items was a “finding” that rooms taxes will be sufficient to cover the bond payment and an overage, which will be used to build up a reserve sufficient to make two years of payments if tourism tanked.

“It’s very safe,” says authority Chairman Steve Hill.

The Raiders will borrow $850 million from Bank of America, and get a $200 million dollar loan from the NFL.

The public contribution is capped at $750 million. If construction costs or operating expenses unexpectedly rise, those costs will become the Raiders’ responsibility.

Meanwhile, at the site, it's been busy.

“Well, it's on schedule, and on budget,” says Don Webb, the chief operating officer of the company that will run the stadium. “We've excavated about two-thirds of the site and it's about 600 or 700 thousand cubic yards of earth.”

The enclosed stadium’s signature element will be its backdrop: the iconic Strip. So, it needs a good “window” That can be closed or open, overlooking one of the world’s most famous backdrops.

“I think I like the opening doors,” Badain said when asked for his favorite design element. “I like having some form of an outdoor venue, and I think that accomplishes that here.”

Here's a twist: on one of the levels...the players will walk right by the fans. There will also be two levels of suites, which are already selling at the Raiders sales office at Town Square.

“The community has really responded,” says Badain. “A lot of companies are really excited. Some local, some have come from outside the area.”

Some customers, he says, have even come from Oakland, establishing a little bit of “joint custody.”

“Yeah, actually, four or five,” Badain told me.

The team is also giving the authority use of a suite, which Hill says will be used by other local governments, local organizations and authority members, with the goal of attracting more business to Las Vegas.

“It’s just an opportunity for the entire community to leverage the stadium asset in one more way other than creating jobs and additional tourists and tax revenue,” says Hill. During today’s meeting, he made a point of telling authority members the suite was not a “freebie” for them. He told them if they want to see a game, they have to buy their own tickets.

“We’ll make sure that, frankly, both from a legal standpoint and from a purpose standpoint, the suite is used appropriately,” Hill told me.

Next week, the stadium deal will get another review by the NFL at its owners meeting in Orlando. Then, on March 28, the stadium authority will sign off, capping months of legal review and paperwork.

“We will then sign all of those and then we will issue the resolution to Clark County to please go issue the bonds,” said Hill.

The stadium is scheduled to be finished the summer of 2020, in time for opening day for both the Raiders and the Rebels.


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