Tailgating room will be rare in Raiders stadium parking plan

A neighborhood on the verge of change: the site of the future Raiders stadium and current debate over parking. (Jeff Gillan | KSNV)

It's 2020, and Raider Nation is calling Las Vegas home.

At Mr. D's, Jim Cielsielski — nursing a noontime drink — says the team better have space for tailgating.

“It gets you in the mood for a game, and it gets everybody all revved up,” Jim told me. And he knows tailgating, coming from Wisconsin, where fans of the Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers consider tailgating a high-art.

So does Raider Nation. But those grills could be a tight squeeze on a stadium site in Las Vegas that has room — according to Clark County — for only 2,375 parking spaces.

County code requires 16,250, so the Raiders are in the hunt for almost 14,000 more spaces somewhere in the neighborhood.

County Commissioner Larry Brown — the chair of the Regional Transportation Commission — says other sports offer the Raiders a lesson.

For example, he says, we shuttle fans to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for NASCAR. He says the RTC, which runs the local bus system, will do the same thing for the new NHL team, the Golden Knights.

“We'll probably look at that model to see if it works for the Raiders. The RTC's in dialogue with other NFL cities to find out what their public agencies have done successfully – some of the challenges they faced,” says Brown.

RELATED LINK | Raiders work on stadium parking

The Raiders parking study identifies nine park-and-ride sites in the valley that could shuttle fans in. It also says casinos could be shuttle locations.

But more than half the fans will drive and more than 30 percent, it says, will walk — coming from resort garages or streets within a mile from the stadium.

We got some cold water Friday thrown on that on-street parking idea.

“There is no on-street parking to the west there,” said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who said last week some landowners have approached the team offering to sell land for parking.

The Raiders’ parking consultant, Kimley Horn, estimates that when all types of transportation are taken into account, the team needs 12,110 parking spaces. If the Monorail is extended to Mandalay Place, across from the stadium, it would decrease the number of spaces to 11,024, thanks to fewer cars.

The Raiders, in the meantime, are confident there will be enough parking.

“He told us don't worry about it, with the parking. I might go broke, but it will all work out,” says Las Vegas Review-Journal sports reporter and ESPN Las Vegas host Ed Graney, recounting his conversation at Raider training camp last week with team owner Mark Davis.

That's what they call capitalism, in a town about to enter the NFL.

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