Las Vegas Raiders Nation
In late March 2017, the phrase, “Las Vegas Raiders” became official when NFL owners voted to move the Oakland football team to Sin City. This makes the Raiders the 2nd professional sports team to represent Las Vegas after the Vegas Golden Knights NHL expansion team was approved last year. Though their first season as the Las Vegas Raiders won’t begin until (most likely) 2020 after the completion of their brand new stadium, the land has now been purchased and planning for the domed, $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium has begun!
It’s All About Location
One of the main factors for even bringing a professional team to a place like Vegas is location. It’s a destination city: There’s a constant stream of tourism, plenty of hotels, many points of interest, restaurants, and a variety of shows to enjoy like most major sports cities. But until recently though, Las Vegas didn’t have any professional sports teams to call their own (unless you count the Sportsbook and the odds are, most don’t… locals joke). Having an ideal economy to back up a new sports franchise is one thing, but also having the perfect location for that team is another… and the Las Vegas Raiders have all of that now!
On Monday, May 1st, 2017, the Las Vegas Raiders closed on the purchase of a 62-acre stadium site on the south end of the Strip, close to Mandalay Bay. Early projections estimated that the Raiders would spend around $100 million for the sale of the land. ‘Lady Luck’ must already be on the team, however, because the Clark County Recorder’s Office has it listed at $77.5 million at the close.
The land sits west of Interstate 15 between Russell Road and Hacienda Ave and also between Dean Martin Drive and Polaris Avenue. It will be accessible from I-15 from the north and south and from Russell Road to the west.
Tailgating, Tourism, and Traffic
Now that the land has been purchased, the planning, design & construction of the stadium can begin. The design of the stadium, however, brings into question parking… and will there be enough? Parking is always a major concern in Las Vegas, especially along the Strip. In sports, and namely football, the concern isn’t only having room to park, but also having room to tailgate- an experience the Raiders want to make sure to continue to provide. Parking and tailgating will continue to be two important discussions as the development of the stadium move forward.
Of course, there will always be plenty of taxi and Uber options with the new stadium being so close to the Strip. The site is conveniently located just minutes away from the McCarren Airport- which could cause air traffic issues of its own- but offer more options for tourists and fans wanting a faster in and out of Vegas. Local drivers should expect regular traffic jams from Decatur to Warm Springs during the football season, and before too long, gone will be the days you can use Russell Road as a local’s “back way” to and from events.
Besides more traffic, most of the community is looking forward to what the Las Vegas Raiders will bring: football, jobs, a new stadium… and maybe even a Superbowl Ring! But for now, the focus is to get the stadium built first!