With more ideas and alternatives emerging for a proposed Oakland Raiders stadium in Las Vegas, a committee studying the project wants more time to complete its findings.
In recent weeks, several developments have complicated the process for the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, which is to deliver its recommendation on a Raiders stadium to Nevada governor Brian Sandoval by the end of this month. What the committee is seeking is an extension of two months, which would allow it to consider several recent developments.
The preferred site for a domed stadium was a 42-acre parcel at Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane, an idea that faltered when Southwest Airlines said that the facility would hurt operations at McCarran Airport. While there were additional locations on the table, the Raiders and partners Las Vegas Sands Inc. and Majestic Reality have added three new parcels to the mix. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Representatives of a private-public partnership headed by Las Vegas Sands Corp., Majestic Realty and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders introduced three new potential sites for a domed stadium in addition to six that already have been in play: 62 acres west of Mandalay Bay and Interstate 15; more than 139 acres at the Wynn Golf Club, east of Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Encore; and 27 acres at the former site of the Wet n’ Wild water park south of the SLS Las Vegas.
That is on top of sites that have been previously discussed, including land next to the Thomas & Mack Center, the former location of the Riviera Hotel on the Strip, The Rock in Rio Concert Grounds, The Wild West Casino, and the downtown Cashman Center and Cashman Field. The Review-Journal also reported that a 10th site–an unspecified location near the Strip–could soon to be introduced.
In the midst of this, the committee is trying to settle on a location that is closer to UNLV than the university’s current facility–Sam Boyd Stadium–and is centrally located to the Strip. It has been previously reported that The Wild West Casino may emerge as the favorite under that criteria, though that has not been settled.
Changes to the site are also coming on top of changes to the cost. A site that is not controlled by UNLV is expected to raise the price tag of the project, and some proposals allot 50 to 64 acres of land for the stadium and surrounding development. Another idea that is being discussed is to build a retractable roof rather than a fixed dome, which would add $50 million. With those changes, it is conceivable that the $1.4 billion project could rise in cost to as much as $2.1 billion.
There is also still the issue of the exact public funding source. Currently, the committee is looking into the possibility of making the stadium and surrounding land into a special taxing district, thereby allowing tax increment financing to pay for the state’s share of the project.
Under these conditions, it makes sense that the committee is now going to Sandoval to ask for more time. With so many options on the table, several factors will have to be considered before a complete recommendation can be given.