Posts tagged with "Las Vegas":

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Behold the MSG Sphere, a futuristic venue with precision sound coming to Las Vegas

Is this the world's most futuristic venue? Like most of Las Vegas, the forthcoming MSG Sphere will be built to dazzle the eyes—and ears. The 18,000-seat venue will feature what's known as beamforming audio, an acoustics technology developed by the German company Holoplot that uses planar audio waves to send sound directly to a specific location. Unlike typical speakers, which diffuse sound in spherical waves that bounce on every surface, beamformed audio is so precise that two people sitting close by can hear two different sounds without interference. The venue hopes to leverage interactive technology by providing high-speed internet for each seat. That way, fans can not only document their experience on social media, but interface with artists on stage during live performances. Up top, screens will span the 180,000-square-foot ceiling, and bass can be pumped through the floor of the sphere. Developer Madison Square Garden Company hopes the latter feature could be especially appealing to fans of mainstream electronic dance music (EDM): It hopes to book big EDM acts like Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5, according to USA Today. Outside, the Sphere will feature 190,000 linear feet (36 miles) of LED lighting, so spectators could watch a concert going on inside, or have their retinas burned by a solid luminous ball, depending on the day. A camera system deployed throughout Las Vegas will collect and project images of the city onto the facade, too. Even though Madison Square Garden Company, the same team behind New York's eponymous venue, is behind the project, there will be no basketball or hockey at the Sphere (there may be boxing or MMA, though). The project will break ground later this year, and the developers estimate the venue will be open by 2020.
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Las Vegas supersized convention center expansion approved

The already-giant Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is about to get even bigger, thanks to an expansion by Atlanta's tvsdesign. This week, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors approved tvsdesign to spearhead the $860 million addition, and after renovations, the exhibition hall will be North America's second-largest (top honors go to Chicago's McCormick Place). The firm is collaborating with Henderson, Nevada's TSK Architects, as well as Las Vegas's Simpson Coulter Studio, Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects and KME Architects on the 1.4-million-square-foot design. The megaproject will proceed in phases. This phase, the LVCC District Expansion, is expected to be finished by the end of 2020, while a subsequent renovation of the existing 3.2-million-square-foot convention center will wrap in 2023. "What gets us out of bed in the morning is doing big, complex projects that are important and have a meaningful impact on people’s lives," said Rob Svedberg, tvsdesign principal, in a statement. "The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion is just that: big, intricate and positioned to deliver a positive impact on many lives. We are thrilled about the opportunity to create an iconic design for the world’s greatest convention city." tvsdesign is part of the design-build team selected this year to realize the $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The firm also worked on the $585 million Music City Center in Nashville. Last year, 22,000 meetings, conventions and trade shows were held in Las Vegas. When it's complete, the larger LVCC is expected to attract 2 million visitors per year.
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Las Vegas will test the first self-driving public shuttle in the U.S.

Yet another unusual attraction has joined Las Vegas’ iconic downtown strip. ARMA, an autonomous, all-electric shuttle bus designed by French start-up, Navya, has been introduced to the city's downtown traffic. The pilot project, made possible through Las Vegas’ partnership with the mass-transit company Keolis and the American Automobile Association(AAA), marks the country's first autonomous shuttle to operate freely within real-world traffic conditions. The bean-shaped vehicle carries eight passengers and is equipped with a computer monitoring system, GPS technology, electronic curb sensors, laser sensors, vehicle-to-infrastructure guidance and a variety of camera systems. Constant wireless communication between the vehicle and sensors set up throughout the area provide real-time information for ARMA to navigate its way through the bustling Las Vegas streetscape. While there are no steering wheels or brakes in the shuttle, an emergency stop button and a human attendant are stationed in the vehicle in case of emergency. Through the course of this year-long pilot project, the shuttle is offering free rides on a half-mile loop in the downtown Fremont East Innovation District of Las Vegas. The half-mile route has just three stops – located on Fremont Street and Carson Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street – but is to-date the longest self-driving pilot project to operate in a fully-integrated manner within a real-world city environment. ARMA can operate up to 8 hours on a single charge, and reach a speed of 28 miles per hour. Over the next 12 months, the project aims to provide 250,000 free rides and help soothe public skepticism towards autonomous vehicles. In addition to familiarizing the public to these new technologies, this project will provide real-life research on the relationship between autonomous vehicles and pedestrians, bicycles and other human-operated traffic. Las Vegas will serve as a valuable test site for the future of autonomous transport within the urban environment. If Las Vegas can make it work, we can perhaps expect the expansion of self-driving technology on a broader scale throughout the country. Navya expects electric shuttles to be more affordable to maintain than combustion-powered vehicles. However, the cost of such projects are not cheap to install. Currently, a single Navya shuttle is estimated at around $260,000.
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Las Vegas ballpark revealed for master-planned desert community

Three years ago, the Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) bought Las Vegas’s Triple A baseball team, the 51s, with the plan of relocating the team from its outdated facility north of downtown Las Vegas to a new state-of-the-art facility in Summerlin, the company’s massive master-planned community of more than 100,000 people at the western edge of the Las Vegas Valley. Last week HHC unveiled the preliminary design of Las Vegas Ballpark, its new 10,000-capacity ballpark, designed by the San Francisco office of HOK. It is the latest sign that sports are becoming increasingly important both to Las Vegas’ ambition of becoming a “real city” as well as a driver of a new generation of more urban development. This season also marks the debut of Las Vegas’ NHL franchise, the Golden Knights, playing out of a new arena on the Las Vegas Strip (itself part of a large pedestrian-oriented plaza space on the Strip). The NFL’s Oakland Raiders, meanwhile, will relocate to Sin City in a brand new stadium starting in 2020. The new baseball park will form the centerpiece of a 400-acre tract called “Downtown Summerlin.” The ballpark will join an existing 1,000-room hotel casino, a large outdoor shopping center that opened in 2014, and a practice rink for the Golden Knights which opened last month. Over the next 10 to 15 years, Hughes expects to fill in the rest of the site with new office buildings, small parks and up to 4,000 urban dwelling units — none of which will be single-family detached homes. The design, which is still being finalized, will leverage the park's connection to the desert – the ballpark is a short drive from the color-drenched mountains of the Red Rock National Conservation Area.“There’s something about a project in the desert that’s a little bit different than a project in other places,” said Anton Foss, Managing Principal of HOK's San Francisco office. The base will be comprised of stucco and earthy burnished blocks. "We’re emphasizing the materiality of the ground — pieces of the project being of the earth," said Foss. The other design cue was the legacy of Howard Hughes himself. The aviator and industrialist originally bought up the 25,000-acre parcel that became Summerlin in the 1950s. Development of the land as a master-planned community didn’t begin until the late '80s. Foss said early plans actually considered trying to incorporate a Hughes museum on site, complete with his legendary Spruce Goose flying boat aircraft. The idea was abandoned, but it got Foss and his colleagues thinking about Hughes’ aviation legacy. Inspired by aircraft, the upper section is composed of exposed structural steel, glass and metal panels. The roof, Foss promised, “will touch the sky lightly like an aircraft wing.” A few Vegas touches are planned for the ballpark, including an outfield pool and an outfield concourse lined with games like ping pong tables and corn hole. Las Vegas usually hosts a few Cactus League games during Spring Training, so the new stadium will feature amenities like a clubhouse and a weight room that are designed to impress major league players. But the watchword here is more about grace than glitz. The design will eliminate complex vertical circulation like ramps — despite an 18-foot west to-east downward slope, the entire park can be accessed by one 360-degree, sloping circulation system. The ballpark, estimated to cost $150 million, is scheduled to break ground early next year and open for the 2019 season. As for the 51s' current home, Cashman Field, plans for next year include hosting a new minor league soccer franchise which will play alongside the baseball team until the 51s move. Beyond that, there are more question marks. The city is kicking around a variety of ideas, ranging from a sports complex (if the minor league soccer team draws interest, it could lead to a Major League Soccer franchise in a few years) to a new campus for tech giant Amazon, which has invited cities to bid for the chance to host their new headquarters. The Cashman ballpark dates back to 1983 and is one of the oldest Triple A fields in the country. It is part of a larger complex called Cashman Center, which includes a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall. Just north of downtown Las Vegas, but cut off by an elevated freeway, the Cashman site is adjacent to a popular outdoor neon museum and a public library. The ongoing redevelopment of downtown Las Vegas has yet to cross over the freeway. For Tom Warden, Senior Vice President with the Howard Hughes Corporation, the future of both Downtown Summerlin and Downtown Las Vegas are bright. For him, the 400-acre Downtown Summerlin site is a dream opportunity to implement New Urbanist policies devoted to walkable, pedestrian-scaled environments on an unprecedented scale. “To be able to build that way tabula rasa is an exciting thing for planners,” he said.
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Las Vegas gambles its future on sports, conventions, and leisure

As Las Vegas recovers from the Great Recession, city and business leaders are betting that the region’s future lies in a more diverse set of recreational offerings than the ones that made the city famous. Though many of the transformative projects are still in the planning or construction phases, the signs are clear: The boom-and-bust region is moving away from a strictly gambling-focused urbanism toward one more broadly defined by indiscriminate leisure, including sports, large-scale conventions, relaxation, and even traditional mixed-use urbanism.

Most spectacularly, city and business leaders triumphed in their quest to lure the Oakland Raiders to Sin City with a new $1.9 billion stadium designed by Kansas City, Missouri–based Manica Architecture. The stadium, to be built for the 2020 season, features a horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement that faces an operable building wall oriented toward the Strip. The complex will feature a celebration terrace containing a 120-foot tall cauldron honoring storied Raiders coach Al Davis, as well.

Adding to the sports frenzy, local architects YWS recently unveiled plans for a 30,000-square-foot Esports venue, Las Vegas’s first virtual sports facility. The complex will contain a multilevel arena, large-scale video wall, and a broadcast studio, all expected to open in early 2018.

The city is scrambling to prepare for the Raiders by embarking on $900 million in road and transit improvements, including a potential 1.14-mile monorail extension. The link would create a five-mile-long elevated train line connecting the stadium with 12 hotel and casino properties and the Las Vegas Convention Center. To boot, state agencies recently proposed a $12.5 billion plan for a new light rail system for the city.

The city is also looking to expand and upgrade its existing convention center by adding 600,000 square feet of exhibit space to the aging complex. The bet here is for Las Vegas to draw larger convention crowds, competing with cities like Orlando and Chicago (which are also expanding their convention centers). The new convention center is expected to draw an additional 610,000 visitors to the city, plus $810 million in revenue for good measure.

Closer to the forthcoming stadium, work has been underway to diversify the city at the street level as well. Recently completed streetscape improvements by planning firm Cooper Robertson, Marnell Companies, and !melk landscape architects for the Park—an eight-acre pedestrian plaza and park located between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts—have brought a bit of big-city life to the Strip. Designers on the project reoriented retail spaces to face what was formerly an alley and demolished a temporary sales center to create a new pedestrian park. Donald Clinton, partner at Cooper Robertson, said, “We were tasked to come up with new dining and entertainment uses that could actually face the strip.” When asked, “How can we upgrade what we’re doing in front of these older casinos?” Clinton explained that the project sought to bring new tenants to the reprogrammed street who could benefit from being near foot traffic while also connecting to the new, !melk-designed park. The design features a variety of native trees and shrubs, swale areas, and large, sculptural shade structures that collect water. The park is flanked on several sides by plaza areas serviced directly by brewpubs and cafes.

The scheme was enriched by the speculative development of the Populous-designed T-Mobile Arena, an LED-clad, diamond-inspired structure that seats up to 19,000 and contains a slew of VIP zones, lounges, and nightclubs at the end of the new promenade. Clinton explained that the city’s new approaches to urbanism were “still evolving,” but one thing is clear: Las Vegas is quickly becoming more than a gambler’s paradise.

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Raiders purchase 62-acre site for Las Vegas stadium

The Oakland Raiders National Football League (NFL) team has completed the purchase of a 62-acre site for their future stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Journal Review reports that the site, located just to the west of the Mandalay Bay resort, cost $77.5 million to acquire, roughly 25 percent cheaper than had been originally anticipated. Site acquisition will allow the team—whose move to Las Vegas was approved in March by NFL team owners—to continue to pursue construction of their new $1.9 billion Manica Architecture-designed complex. The stadium design was repurposed and adapted to the Las Vegas climate from an earlier bid by the Raiders to move to Los Angeles. The 65,000-seat stadium will be located adjacent to Interstate-15 and will be connected to the city’s expanding monorail system once it is built out to Mandalay Bay in the coming years. In its current form the stadium's design includes an active facade with sliding panels that can open and shut depending on the weather. The real estate purchase also came with a shift in financials for the stadium proposal with billionaire Sheldon Adelson, one of the main backers of the relocation scheme, withdrawing his $650 million investment in the venture. Instead, the developers for the project have secured a $650 million loan from Bank of America that will be used to round-out the financial package for the project. The Raiders’s move comes after emotionally-fraught negotiations with Oakland city leaders and institutions fell through. Officials there that sought to keep the team in the Bay Area by reworking the team’s existing stadium which is currently shared with the Oakland Athletics baseball team. The future of that plan—and the Oakland-Alemeda Stadium, the last major stadium shared by major league football and baseball franchises in the country—is still up in the air. The Raiders will continue to play at in Oakland stadium through the 2019 season and are expected to move into their new stadium in Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL season.
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Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, aim to build new $1.15 billion stadium

National Football League (NFL) owners voted almost unanimously yesterday to approve plans for the Oakland Raiders to relocate to Las Vegas, heralding what could be the final play in the nearly two-year-long drama that has unfolded as several West Coast-based teams reshuffle hometowns. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was the only dissenting vote, saying, “we as owners… owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted.” Las Vegas city officials have been courting the Oakland Raiders for months, offering $750 million in public financing for the team’s Manica Architecture–designed $1.15 billion stadium proposal. The 65,000 seat stadium—a recycled scheme left over from the team’s attempt to move to Carson, California last year—features a large-scale, retractable side wall that would allow the stadium to become partially open-air. The domed structure will potentially be located on either a site nearby the Mandalay Bay casino complex on the Las Vegas Strip, or atop a current portion of golf course belonging to the Bali Hai Golf Club. The stadium is being designed as a shared facility and will also host games for the University of Nevada football team. The relocation deal throws into question a plan released late last year from Oakland and Alameda County officials aimed at keeping the team in town. In their efforts, officials advertised a purpose-built $1.15 billion, 55,000-seat stadium for the team. The Raiders currently share Oakland-Alameda Stadium with the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team. The dual-use stadium undergoes a grueling 20-hour long conversion in order to switch between uses. The design is difficult and costly, to say the least. The plan was offered as a carrot to both teams—the Athletics will have the option to develop their own stadium in the scheme—and also came with potential plans or remaking the district around the stadium with improvements to rapid transit connections. Officials in Oakland have not announced what will come of the plan given the finalized move. For the Las Vegas stadium, the assumption is that the design and permitting process will continue to move forward and that—perhaps quickly—a site might be chosen so construction can commence. For the Raiders the arrangement is particularly awkward, as the team will not be able to physically relocate to Las Vegas until the 2020 season at the earliest.
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Las Vegas could get a $12.5 billion light rail system

If stars align, it looks like car-centric Las Vegas will soon place new bets on mass transit. This week state and local officials presented a preliminary plan to construct multi-billion-dollar light rail system in Sin City. The route, which has been in the works for more than two years, would link Las Vegas's airport, McCarran International, to the Strip. A bill under consideration in the state senate would give local officials authority to pursue federal grants or impose tax increases to fund transit, as well as emerging technologies like self-driving cars. Right now, state law forbids local transit commissions from creating "high-capacity" mass transit systems like the proposed railway, the Associated Press reports. Bill sponsor Mark Manendo was one of six elected officials at the meeting who said Las Vegas trails similar municipalities in mass transit development. "If we can lead in the travel and tourism industry—and who can dispute that, accommodating more than 42 million visitors a year—I find it hard to believe our community cannot come together to help build a world-class transportation system," Senator Manendo told the AP. To formulate its plan, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada looked to light rail systems in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, and San Diego. In addition to trains, the commission is also considering other mass transit options to connect the city's college campuses, commercial corridors, hospitals, and residential districts. The senate bill, though, doesn't stop at Las Vegas, where a light rail line could cost $12.5 billion and take two or three decades to build. Reno, Nevada, could see transit improvements, as well, if the state's estimated $26 billion plan is approved and fully funded.
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Four NFL teams swap stadiums on the West Coast

San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas National Football League (NFL) teams are playing a game of musical chairs, as a new generation of stadium-centered mega-developments attempt to lure established franchises to and from the West’s largest cities. NFL teams are notorious for holding their host cities hostage when it comes to demands over new stadium construction, and the current team swap going on across the region is no exception. Reuters reported earlier this year that when the Rams, formerly of Saint Louis, left the Gateway City for Los Angeles at the start of the 2016–2017 season, they also left behind a staggering $144 million debt resulting from the 1995 construction of the HOK Sport (now Populous)–designed Edward Jones Dome that the municipality must pay off on its own. All this for a structure used to host eight games during the normal football season. The Rams were lured back to Los Angeles in the same way they were lured away from it: with promises of a brand-new, state-of-the-art sports temple. In the most recent case, however, the altar in question will be entirely privately funded by Rams owner Stan Kroenke who is a billionaire. It will also be smack dab in the middle of the new City of Champions mega-development, a 238-acre neighborhood being built atop the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood. Overall, the City of Champions project is due to cost $2.5 billion and will include 3,000 housing units, 620,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as a new casino and hotel. The stadium component, designed by global architecture firm HKS, features a sail-like, triangular ETFE super-roof supported by thick columns that caps the stadium and also shelters a large, outdoor “champions plaza” to be used as a communal gathering spot for spectators. The 80,000-seat stadium will be able to hold up to 100,000 fans for concerts and is being designed to accommodate two football teams. Simultaneously, Kansas City–based MANICA Architecture had proposed a competing stadium for the nearby city of Carson, California, in an attempt to lure the Rams and, potentially, the San Diego Chargers to a new stadium there. After the HKS proposal for the Rams became a reality, MANICA’s proposal resurfaced in Las Vegas as a potential new home for the Oakland Raiders, a team that itself went from Oakland to Los Angeles and then back again during the late 1980s and early 1990s over unmet stadium-upgrade demands. MANICA recycled its nearly $2 billion Carson proposal for Sin City, trading in an open-air proposal for an air-conditioned scheme featuring a retractable roof. The project was approved in November of this year after much political wrangling that included raising special taxes to fund the stadium’s construction and a $650 million cash infusion from billionaire Sheldon Adelson. While the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas has not been finalized, the team’s current bout with wanderlust began after a deal to share the recently completed, $1.2 billion HNTB-designed Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, fell through. That stadium was designed to accommodate two teams, hold between 68,500 and 70,000 spectators during sporting events, and be the first ground-up LEED Gold–certified NFL stadium in the country. In December, officials in the Bay Area announced yet another plan to try and keep the Raiders in Oakland by putting forth the plans for a new $1.25 billion, 55,000-seat football stadium to replace the existing OaklandAlameda Coliseum. The last time the Oakland Coliseum received major upgrades was back in 1995 when a $25.5 million renovation brought luxury suites to the stadium. The new plans include space for a new Oakland A’s baseball team ballpark, while also including a sizeable commercial component, and even a “Grand Central Station-like” transit connection to the regional Bay Area Rapid Transit system to connect the new sports complex with the metropolitan region. Although the Raiders are working toward moving to Las Vegas, and the Rams are settling into their new home in Los Angeles awaiting the 2019 completion of the City of Champions complex, the future of the San Diego Chargers remains in doubt, as well. A ballot initiative in support of their newly proposed stadium was a casualty of this year’s November elections, paving the way for the Chargers to potentially take up residence in Los Angeles if they can’t figure out a new approach. That ballot initiative would have raised area hotel tax rates to help fund a new stadium. Both teams have until January 15th to vet bids from their respective cities before they can begin to formally consider other offers. Either way, things don’t look great for the prospects of either team to stay in their respective cities. The Los Angeles Times recently quoted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as saying,“We have not made great progress in Oakland and San Diego. There is not a stadium proposal on the table that we think addresses the long-term issues of the clubs and the communities. So we need to continue to work at it.”
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Oakland makes a last-ditch effort to keep the Raiders

For the Oakland Raiders, when it rains, it pours. Officials in Oakland, California announced yet another plan to try and keep the cherished Oakland Raiders football team from moving to Las Vegas: A new $1.25 billion, 55,000-seat Oakland Raiders stadium to replace the existing Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The plan includes reserving space for a new Oakland A’s baseball team ballpark, a sizeable commercial development, and potentially a “Grand Central Station-like” transit connection to the regional Bay Area Rapid Transit system that would welcome fans to the game. Unlike Las Vegas’s proposal—a $1.9 billion, 65,000 seat stadium designed by Manica Architecture and funded predominantly with $750 million in public money and $650 million in cash from billionaire Sheldon Adelson—the Oakland proposal would not require any public money to be built. Instead, the East Bay Times reports, the plans is to issue city-backed bonds worth $200 million to be paid back with revenues generated by the stadium’s new commercial properties to help pay for the stadium. Those funds will be augmented with money from the National Football League (NFL) and an investment group in order fully fund the new stadium. A portion of those city-backed bonds would also be used to pay back the roughly $95 million in debt the city still has stemming from the last renovation to the Coliseum, which took place in the 1990s. The Oakland Alameda Stadium is the last stadium in the country to function as a dual baseball-football complex, so the Oakland A’s—themselves considering a move to a different site in Oakland—are being offered a carrot as part of the deal, though the details of their stadium are still unclear. Plans released by the city indicate the baseball team will have a 15-acre plot reserved for their new stadium and also mention that the Golden State Warriors’ arena could become a part of the development proposal if the team moves to San Francisco, as is currently planned. A design team has not been announced for the Oakland proposal, but city and regional leaders are meeting Tuesday to set the plan in motion. The big question is whether the Raiders, already more-or-less committed to the Las Vegas move, will take the time to hear out Oakland’s proposal. One thing missing from the proposal: housing. Many new football stadiums, including the HKS-designed complex in Inglewood, California for the Los Angeles Rams, include housing components as part of the stadium design or are situated within neighborhood fabric. Some see the plan’s missing housing component as a missed opportunity to have the team’s continued presence in the rapidly-changing, gentrification-prone borough meaningfully contribute to the area’s economy, especially in light of the recent Ghost Ship disaster.
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$1.9 billion Las Vegas Raiders stadium clears penultimate hurdle as public funding deal is approved

The odds for the Oakland Raiders football team’s relocation to Las Vegas are looking very good right about now. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill into law this week that would set aside $1.15 billion in public funds to build two new mega-projects in Las Vegas: a new Manica Architecturedesigned Las Vegas Raiders stadium and a large-scale upgrade to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In the deal, the stadium would get $750 million in funding with the remainder going toward the convention center project. Nevada lawmakers narrowly approved the bill in a special legislative session last week, capping off several months of deal-making and buzz for the nearly $2 billion project. Of the remaining sum, local billionaire Sheldon Adelson intends to contribute $650 million in funding, with the team putting roughly $500 million toward the project. Manica Architecture’s proposal for the 65,000-seat stadium has been mostly repurposed from the team’s failed bid to relocate to Los Angeles and features a large, retractable roof canopy. The arena would be located on one of two sites, both adjacent to Interstate-15 and the Mandalay Bay casino towers. One of the proposed sites is located on top of what is currently a portion of the Bali Hai Golf Club. The deal marks the largest amount ever in terms of sheer dollars that a municipality has provided to subsidize the building of a National Football League (NFL) franchise stadium. Construction Dive reports that several concessions were made in order to have the legislature approve the deal, including increasing the amount of access the University of Nevada, Las Vegas would have to the stadium and providing a different rental rate to the university for access to the facilities. In a boastful ceremony marking the signing of the bill, the Sandoval cited inter-city competition as a driver for the funding plan, stating, “Cities such as New York and Chicago and Seattle, they have not only stadiums and major sports franchises, but are also investing over a billion dollars per year in their respective convention centers.” Sandoval’s approval marks the penultimate step in the Raiders’ bid to build a new stadium for the franchise. In order for the move to become officially-sanctioned, two-thirds of current NFL franchise owners would have to agree to allow the team to relocate in an upcoming meeting scheduled for January 2017.
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Las Vegas Raiders stadium one step closer to reality

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.