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Planning Underway for Las Vegas Stadium’s Natural Grass Field

Las Vegas Stadium rendering

With construction still unfolding, project officials are planning the rolling tray that will take Las Vegas Stadium‘s natural grass field in and out of the facility.  

Set to open for the relocating Oakland Raiders in 2020, Las Vegas Stadium will feature a natural grass surface for NFL games. To ensure that the grass can be maintained for use in a fixed-roof venue, the stadium will feature a rolling tray that wheels the natural grass playing surface out of a 14-by-240 foot opening at the facility’s south end when it is not in use.

The Raiders will not be the first NFL team to employ this method, as the Arizona Cardinals have done so at State Farm Stadium since the facility opened in 2006. Although the idea of a rolling-grass field will be carried over to Las Vegas, the two stadiums are designed differently, meaning that Las Vegas will have to use different specifications than Arizona. As a result, Las Vegas Stadium project officials have been planning a rolling tray that is specific to their upcoming facility’s design and differs from what has long been used by the Cardinals. More from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Don Webb, chief operating officer of the Raiders’ stadium development subsidiary, and Lanson Nichols, vice president of sports architecture for Kansas City-based HNTB, the architect of record for the project, explained the big differences between the Arizona tray and the one planned for Las Vegas.

The field-tray opening in Arizona passes beneath an elevated walkway that connects the two sides of the stadium. In Las Vegas, there will be seating and concourses above the tray opening.

“When you start adding up all that weight at ours, you’re seating probably 7,000 to 10,000 people,” Webb said. “It’s not just all of the concrete for the concourses and the multiple decks, restrooms and everything else, but it’s the live load of maybe 10,000 people that are on that. Phoenix doesn’t have to deal with that, which means the support for all of that structure and weight at ours is much more robust than in Phoenix.”

To address this, the Las Vegas field-tray opening will have 22 columns that can swivel up or down and support the weight above it when a move is completed. The opening at State Farm Stadium has just two.

Las Vegas Stadium is also the upcoming home of UNLV football, but UNLV will play its games on an artificial surface that features its branding and is designed to college specifications. The artificial surface will be placed above the stadium’s concrete floor, which could be used for non-football events such as concerts.

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