Bye Bye Bay Area?

Las Vegas Raiders stadium one step closer to reality

Architecture Development West
Proposal for new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. (Courtesy Manica Architecture)
Proposal for new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. (Courtesy Manica Architecture)

Las Vegas is one step closer to getting its own football team and stadium.

Yesterday, The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) unanimously approved a bid for $750 million in public funding for the Manica Architecture-designed project. The decision infuses the itinerant team and it’s stadium with a higher potential for realization, but there are still many questions to be answered.

SNTIC’s support punts the stadium issue over to Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, who must now convene a special legislative session to approve the funding request. Public financing for the project would be a contingent on the legislature increasing the Clark County hotel tax, perhaps a difficult proposition in a Republican-leaning state where the governor is up for reelection.

In a statement released by the governor, Sandoval pledged to hold off deliberating on the matter “until all questions have been resolved,” adding “Nevada has served as the standard bearer for global tourism, gaming, and conventions for decades. In order to remain the top destination, we must explore potential opportunities and push forward to lead this international industry into the next generation of travel and tourism. I am hopeful the work completed by this committee will serve as a roadmap to Southern Nevada’s unrivaled and continued success.”

Manica Architecture’s proposal for the stadium, transplanted from an earlier, failed bid the Raiders made for a new home in Los Angeles, is projected to cost nearly $2 billion. Developers for the project consider the $750 million in public funding essential to building the stadium and bringing the team from Oakland to Sin City.

The stadium proposal features a massive, retractable roof canopy that would shield the stadium’s 65,000 spectators from the blazing desert heat and aims to connect with the adjacent Mandalay Bay casino and the remainder of the Las Vegas Strip. The final site within the city for the potential stadium to occupy, however, is yet to be finalized. The team is eyeing two adjacent lots hugging Interstate 15: A compact scheme to the west of the Mandalay Bay casino towers, and another, more expansive one to their south. The southern scheme would require partial demolition of the Bali Hai Golf Club but would ultimately consist of a more heavily-landscaped proposal featuring expansive of surface parking.

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