777 days and counting: A stadium update


The official Raiders countdown clock says our $1.8 billion ticket to the NFL will be ready in 777 days from today.

I got a rundown on what is happening from construction guy Tommy White, who also sits on the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, which will oversee the 65,000 seat facility on your behalf.

“Where we are right now, we are 35 feet higher than the field,” White said to me as we stood on a side street, looking out over the 68-acre parcel of land bordered by Russell and I-15.

Looking in from the outside, you see workers busy, cranes lifting, and scaffolding rising.

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From the inside, you are surrounded by construction. Monday, we got a trip to the bottom of the construction site which is a beehive of activity.

The foundation and flooring are now well underway.

At its last construction update, the team says 11 percent of the project's concrete has already been poured.

Those cranes? Soon, there will be more than 20.

“If you look above the steel where the guys are out there working, that's the 2nd deck, and then there are 7 decks like that,” White, the head of Laborers Local 872, told me. We were looking at the part of the structure that's already rising on what will be the north end of the stadium. Angled girders are now jutting out of the ground which will give the facility its unique shape.

There are 450 workers on site, a bit camera shy. I asked one young man what it feels like to be building the city’s most anticipated structure.

“It's pretty cool. Something new,” he said.

The stadium is the neighborhood's newest sensation. Talk about a business hitting a jackpot: Terrible's has a gas station right across the street.

“We actually have this billboard above our parking lot and you'll see people continuously throughout the day come up and start taking pictures in front of the billboard,” says Barry Phillips, the Executive Director of Marketing at Terrible Herbst.

The stadium will be home to both the Raiders and the UNLV Football Rebels. Part of the funding comes from a boost in the room tax, paid mostly by tourists, that will contribute $750 million in public money.

As construction progresses, so, too, does the team’s search for parking because the site does not have all the parking spaces required by county code. The Raiders have until September to present a parking plan to Clark County.

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